Pictured: ‘Much-loved’ father-of-two, 39, who ‘lived life in the fast lane’ as murder suspect appears in court charged with stabbing him to death on Christmas Day
A ‘much-loved’ father-of-two who was stabbed to death on Christmas Day has been pictured for the first time.
Simon Birch suffered wounds after being attacked with a blade at an address on Sunderland Road, Newbottle, Sunderland, on the night of December 25.
Emergency services rushed to the scene but sadly the 39-year-old, known as Birchie, could not be saved.
Adam Jenkins, 34, was charged with his murder in the subsequent days and appeared in court today.
The victim’s parents, Ian and Jennifer Birch, said in a statement: ‘Simon was a much-loved son, father, brother and uncle. He had so many friends and was loved by so many who knew him.
‘He lived life in the fast lane. He loved his cars and motorbikes, was full of energy and was the life and soul of any party. Whenever he was around, his smile would light up a room.
‘He had a huge heart and was very generous. He’d give you his last penny if he could. He will be missed by everyone.’
Simon Birch (pictured) was remembered as a much-loved son, father, brother and uncle
Northumbria Police attended the scene of the alleged murder at an address in Sunderland Road, Newbottle, Tyne and Wear, in the night of December 25
A forensics officer outside a property the property in Sunderland, where a murder investigation was launched
Northumbria Police have encouraged anyone with information about Mr Birch’s death to contact them on 101 or to use their Tell Us Something page online
Simon’s devastated daughters, 18-year-old Brogan and 13-year-old Georgie, added in a separate tribute: ‘He was always there to support us and would give us the biggest hug, telling us how much he loved us.
‘He had the biggest and kindest heart. He would always protect us, no matter what, and was always there if we ever needed anything.
‘It’s hard to put into words how much he will be missed by all who knew him.’
Detective Inspector Graeme Barr, of Northumbria Police, is leading the investigation into Simon’s death and has praised his family for their incredible bravery over the last 72 hours.
Det Insp Barr said: ‘This is an absolutely horrific time for everyone who knew Simon, and my thoughts remain with his family as they attempt to come to terms with what has happened.
‘I would continue to ask that their privacy is respected and would like to thank them for the way they have supported our investigation at every step of the process.
‘We are committed to making sure Simon’s family get the answers they deserve. Any death is a tragedy, but it is especially poignant at this time of year.
‘I would like to thank everyone who has come forward with information since the incident, and would ask the public to please avoid any speculation on social media or in the community that could jeopardise the ongoing court proceedings.’