FRIENDS of Gheorghe Igna, who died after sustaining fatal head injuries on a rural Christchurch road, have described him as charming, hard-working and “easily-loveable” gentleman.
Mr Igna, a 48-year-old Romanian, who had been living in a tent on Mudeford Beach, was found unconscious at Dudmore Farm Road on Monday, March 31. He was taken to Southampton General Hospital where he died 10 days later from his injuries.
Anastasia Victoria and her mother Rachel Wells became close friends with Mr Igna in the months prior to his death.
“I met him through another homeless couple,” Miss Victoria said.
“We were speaking and Gheorghe just came along and introduced himself.”
Just days after they met Miss Victoria set-up an organisation called Street Light to provide help and support to homeless people in Bournemouth.
The 23-year-old said: “He was my inspiration. We put out an appeal on Facebook to see if anyone had any jobs and we had lots of people come forward.
“Gheorghe had lots of jobs lined-up. He was very hard-working.”
Mrs Wells said Mr Igna had been offered a place to stay prior to his death and was starting to turn his life around.
“He was really happy,” she said.
“On Mother’s Day, the day before he went to hospital, he had spent his first night in his new home after a woman offered him to stay in chalet at her house. Then this happened the next day.”
Describing him as a popular and friendly man who was always smiling, the mother and daughter, who live in Wimborne, said he will be sorely missed.
Miss Victoria added: “He was a real ladies man.
“He used to give all the ladies at his church chocolates and flowers and he asked me to marry him on several occasions.
“He was just a really lovely man.”
New appeal for witness
AN inquest into Mr Igna’s death was opened and adjourned on Tuesday. A post-mortem revealed a head injury was the cause of his death.
Initially it was thought he may have been the victim of a hit-and-run, however police now believe he either jumped or fell from a moving vehicle, a silver Toyota Hilux pick-up.
Police are continuing to investigate the incident.
The force is appealing for witnesses who may have seen anything in the area of Dudmoor Farm Road or Marsh Lane to contact them on 101 quoting incident number 31:145, or to call Crimestoppers, 0800 555 111.