Grandad who created ‘UK’s first paedophile register’ dies in freak accident
The grandad responsible for creating the UK’s first-ever paedophile register has died in a freak snorkelling accident.
Gareth Weekes and his wife Alison had embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime sailing trip in the Caribbean before the accident.
The yacht was near St Vincent and the Grenadines when the 77-year-old entered the water and tragically drowned.
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Since his passing, tributes have flowed from far and wide for the avid sailor.
Gareth, who worked as an editor for the Bournemouth Echo, has been hailed a "local legend" by his community.
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During his time leading the publication, the paper went on to become the first in the country to offer a paedophile register.
Paying tribute to her beloved father, eldest daughter Veryan Cranston said Gareth died as he lived – full of zest.
The 49-year-old told the Daily Echo: "Dad died as he lived – taking risks, having adventures, exploring the world and approaching life with boundless enthusiasm and a gung-ho zest for new experiences.
"We are glad he was having those adventures right up till the end."
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His other daughter, Jenna Fansa, 43, added: "Dad took a very genuine interest in everyone he met – together with his wit and engaging writing style, this made him a very talented journalist.
"Kindness ran through everything he did.
"He was a wonderful father.
"We are so very lucky to have had him."
Gareth, who was born in Cardiff, grew up in south Wales and was originally married to primary school teacher Diane Weekes for 35 years until her death in 2004.
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The couple had three children, Veryan, Bronwen and Jenna.
In 2007, he married Alison Hulls and the couple lived happily together in Clayhidon, Devon.
Alison said: "Absolutely everyone described Gareth as a lovely man.
"He had enormous integrity and empathy with each person he met and this is reflected in the overwhelming reaction to his tragic and sudden death."
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