The family of David Ellam who was killed in a savage dog attack one year ago today have said his death has united them in grief.
David, 52, died on August 15 last year after trying to protect his Yorkshire terrier Rolo from a Labrador-Staffy cross near his home in Riddings Road, Sheepridge.
And on the first anniversary of David’s untimely death , his cousin Keeley Berry said family occasions are now bitter-sweet as they know David would have loved to have joined them.
Keeley added: “I don’t think we will ever be able to let go of as David’s death as it was so tragic.
“But over the year it has brought our family closer together and reminded us of how important that those relationships are and has helped to strengthen them.
“We’re definitely more focused now on memories and happier times. My mum and dad just celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary and we were all saying how he would have loved to have been there and that we were saddened that he wasn’t with us anymore at a family occasion.”
Keeley said despite the impending criminal charges being brought his family are instead focusing on the joy David brought to people’s lives, especially today.
She added: “I try not to think too much about how he was taken away from us and I prefer to just think of him as I remember him, for what he was as a person and the kind things he did.”
David was a life-long Huddersfield Town fan and season ticket holder, and representatives from Town paid tribute to the popular lollipop man at his funeral, where many of the congregation wore Town shirts and colours at his family’s request.
He was also a champion of his local community and he carried out DIY for the YMCA and volunteered with the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) where he befriended others and did odd jobs for them.
It was through his voluntary work with the RVS’s isolation and elderly campaign that he and one of the men he befriended, Gordon, were invited to Downing Street and met then Prime Minister David Cameron.
His love of children was evident through his work as a lollipop man at Paddock Junior and Infant School.
West Yorkshire Police voluntarily referred the case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission after it emerged they had come into contact with the dog prior to the tragedy.
The IPCC has completed its report but details will not be made public until after criminal proceedings.
• Aaron Joseph, 29, denied owning a dog said to be dangerously out of control and appeared at Leeds Crown Court in March. He is due to stand trial with a provisional date fixed for February 9, 2018.