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Family is left devastated by Steven's death; Man charged with murder of pilot, 27.

Byline: Sam Malone sam.malone@walesonline.co.uk

THE "utterly devastated" family of a South Wales pilot found dead in his Scottish flat over the weekend have said they are in "complete shock".

The body of Steven Barrett, 27, originally from Kenfig Hill, near Bridgend, was found in his Edinburgh flat in the early hours of Saturday.

Darren McLauchlan, 23, was yesterday remanded in custody after appearing in front of Edinburgh Sheriff Court charged with murder.

Steven's parents, mum Sian and dad David, were yesterday too upset to talk.

But in a statement the family said: "We have all been left utterly devastated and are still in complete shock following Steven's death.

"Steven was a wonderful and loving brother, son and grandson.

His kindness and love of life were apparent to anyone he met and no-one ever had a bad word to say about him.

"He was always there for his family and friends and lit up the world of everyone he knew.

"We are extremely grateful for all the kind words and messages of support we have received from those who knew and loved Steven. However, we would now ask that we are left alone to grieve at this incredibly traumatic time."

Steven, a former head boy of Cynffig Comprehensive School, was working as a first officer for budget airline Flybe out of Edinburgh Airport.

Becoming a pilot was his lifelong dream and after graduating from Swansea University he trained to be a pilot with the RAF and was named pilot of the year in 2007.

Having earned his wings in 2009 he spent more than two years with the RAF before being made redundant. He then retrained to become a commercial airline pilot in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain - later getting a job with Flybe.

Friends and former colleagues of Steven - who was known by the nickname Baz and who worked as volunteer lifeguard when he was younger - also paid tribute.

Gareth Law wrote: "This is horrific news. Steven Baz Barrett was an awesome athlete and an even better person, a true gent and will be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him."

Chris Bluck, chairman of Rest Bay Lifeguards Club in Porthcawl, said: "Sad news about Steven. Our thoughts go out to his family. He will always be a part of Rest Bay Lifeguards Club."

A Flybe spokesman added: "Our thoughts and sympathies are with Steven's family at this tragic and very sad time. Steven was a respected member of our team and will be missed by all those who worked with him."

McLauchlan appeared on petition at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday charged with Steven's murder.

He made a brief appearance in private before Sheriff Paul Arthurson who remanded him custody. No plea or declaration was made on his behalf and the case was continued for further inquiry.

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The body of Steven Barrett, from Kenfig Hill, was found in his Edinburgh flat on Saturday
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 9, 2013
Words:492
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