Man found dead had battled drink and drugsBy James Chapple
March 07, 2013
THE father of a man from Aldershot, whose body was found on the Blackwater Valley path near Frimley railway station last week, has paid tribute to his son who died of a suspected accidental overdose.
Gavin Woolston, 35, was found by officers shortly before 7am last Thursday (February 28) on the path after receiving a report in the early hours.
His father, Kevin, 58, told the News & Mail his son was a ‘happy-go-lucky’ tearaway who lived his life to the full after battling a 20-year drink and drugs problem.
“He was a good kid,” said Mr Woolston. “A real character – always the life and soul of the party was our Gavin.
"After I split with his mum Donna [Spencer, 55], she did a wonderful job bringing the boys up, she was a fantastic mum. Gavin had his issues but he fought them for 20 years and he beat them."
Gavin left behind three children – Lettice, 13, Adele, 12 and Jasmine, 10.
Mr Woolston explained his son was admitted to hospital at the end of January when a gate he was fixing fell on him, shattering his pelvis.
It was after this that Gavin’s problems began.
“He took 20 tramadol – a strong painkiller – and suffered a seizure but he didn’t go back to hospital,” said Mr Woolston. “That was on February 13.
“Then on February 26 we went to the doctors to try and get him some more pain relief and they said no. But the next day we got a call saying there was a prescription for him – 56 more tramadol. He shot off and took the lot and was found dead the next morning. It was a cocktail of death.”
Born in Frimley Park Hospital, Gavin grew up with his dad in Frimley Green but soon dropped out of school aged 14 and joined his father’s cleaning business.
“He used to come along with me,” said Mr Woolston. “£80 a week – sweet as you like for a kid that age. But he would put in a shift. He was a fencer by trade when he grew up.”
Gavin, who was living with his father in Morland Road, shared a close bond with his 80-year-old grandmother, Gean Woolston, who would tend to him night and day whenever he came knocking.
“It didn’t matter if it was 3pm or 3am, she was always there for him and he was always there for her,” said Mr Woolston. “His nan was like his mum. He lived with her for eight years and she stood by him through thick and through thin.
“She’s a fantastic woman, my mum. Nothing Gavin did was ever too much trouble for her and he always repaid her by helping her out and keeping an eye out for her. He was good like that.”
Brother Lee Woolston, 34, who lives in Camberley, said Gavin was a keen fisherman whose legacy would be bringing the family together for the first time in years following the tragic loss.
“I just hope he didn’t go feeling we weren’t there for him,” said Lee. “He was always a handful but we all loved him. He was a proper older brother to me. I always wanted to be in his gang.
“His dyslexia meant he didn’t get on at school – give him a notepad and he would crumble. But put a tool in his hands and he was a wizard.
“Sadly, he had a long-term heroin addiction. And when they put him on prescription drugs after his accident, it was like giving candy to a baby.”
A spokesman for Surrey Police told the News & Mail yesterday (Wednesday) the force was treating the death as unexplained and the case had been handed to the coroner.