Sidmouth one of Matthew's ""favourite places"" says grieving brother

PUBLISHED: 14:14 18 July 2009 | UPDATED: 09:42 18 June 2010

THE brother of a man whose body was found on a Sidmouth beach on Sunday, described him as sensitive and caring . Matthew Hinton, 36, went missing from his Exeter home last Tuesday.

THE brother of a man whose body was found on a Sidmouth beach on Sunday, described him as "sensitive and caring".

Matthew Hinton, 36, went missing from his Exeter home last Tuesday. His body was found by Portland coastguard helicopter after crew from Sidmouth Lifeboat spotted clothing on top of Peak Hill cliffs.

Brother Philip, 34, returned from Japan; where he teaches, with his wife and daughter, to see his parents, Gerry and Sandra, from Stoke Valley Road, Exeter, and Matthew, who lived with them.

But Matthew, who worked as a computer analyst for EDF Energy, had gone missing the day before.

Paying tribute to him, Philip said: "He was a very kind and generous person and warm-hearted, who cared for others.

"He was a quiet man who didn't like to be in the limelight. He would rather be in the background and just make sure everyone was okay.

"He lived a very simple life."

Because Sidmouth was one of Matthew's favourite places, Philip and his family spent many hours over the days he was missing, searching for him there.

Philip said: "We had a feeling he may be found in the Sidmouth area. The police traced his mobile to the area.

"Not knowing whether he was dead or alive we went to find him and made many trips to Sidmouth to search the seafront, shopping area and The Byes, but unfortunately it wasn't to be and we couldn't find him.

Still shocked by Matthew's death, Philip said: "He had a lot of things on his mind about the future. I don't think it was one particular thing which happened that made him think differently.

"There was something that weighed heavily on him. I don't think anything I could have said would have perhaps changed anything."

Sidmouth Lifeboat, which had been searching the coastline for Matthew during the time he was missing, had been training offshore on Sunday morning when a crew member spotted clothing on the clifftop.

Mark Roden, helmsman, said: "We asked Portland helicopter to have a look at it and by the time it got there, with the tide dropping, there was a body at the bottom of High Peak."

Police and scenes of crimes officers attended and Matthew's body was airlifted out.

Mark said: "We had surveyed that area so much over the last few days."

A smaller lifeboat was also launched and crew were landed to keep the public away from the beach.

An inquest was opened and adjourned on Wednesday and Matthew's funeral will take place on Tuesday at 10am at the Sacred Heart, South Street, Exeter.

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