The family of a Little Gaddesden pensioner who died defending an elderly neighbour from a vicious robber have paid tribute to ‘a devoted husband, father and grandpa’.
Graham Buck, 66, of Nettleden Road, Little Gaddesden, ran to the aid of convicted paedophile Francis Cory-Wright, who turns 88 on Saturday, when he heard him crying out for help.
It is believed Cory-Wright had been targeted by Ian John McLoughlin, 55, also known as Ian John Baker, who was on day release from a murder sentence.
McLoughlin was 22 years into his jail term at Springhill Prison in Grendon Underwood, near Aylesbury, and was seen fleeing Cory-Wright’s home with a bundle of £50 and £20 notes. Cory-Wright was recently been released from prison for child abuse in the 1970s.
Mr Buck, 66, leaves behind wife Karen, two sons, a daughter, two grandchildren and a wife from a previous marriage.
A family statement has been released by the police. It says: “We have no words to express how much Graham will be missed. We were all in such a happy place as a family.
“We were all so settled, with growing numbers of grandchildren whom he adored being around.
“We haven’t seen him happier than being around his grandchildren, he was so proud. We cannot get over that we have lost him. He’s going to be missed by so many people.
“Graham was a devoted husband, father and grandpa. He was a truly genuine person. He loved us all dearly, as well as our dog, cat and two horses. He appreciated life and got satisfaction from his family being healthy and happy.”
Mr Buck was born in London in 1946 and lived in Surrey and Sussex before moving to Herts in 1995.
Karen said: “I’ve lost my rock. I wouldn’t be able to do half the things I’ve done since being with Graham if it wasn’t for him. He and his family have always been there for me in difficult times. I don’t know what I’ll do without him.”
Cricket fan Graham became a board vice-chairman and chairman of the audit and remuneration committee at Aldwyck Housing Association after his retirement.
Karen said: “Graham loved opera, particularly Mozart and Verdi, but he also loved modern music with REM and Coldplay his favourite bands. We thoroughly enjoyed watching the Rolling Stones at Glastonbury on TV together recently.”
His family said he was captain of a seniors golfing team and also loved cricket and rugby – and that he would have been delighted with the Ashes result.
The family statement continues: “Graham was very passionate about social housing and using his background in the financial industry, he could see how money could be used in a positive way.
“He was an incredibly helpful man. If anyone needed help he would always be there no matter whether it be his family, neighbours or people at the golf club. He was everybody’s rock.
“He was so supportive of us all. He welcomed his son and daughter-in-law with warmth, generosity and kindness.
“Graham had a strong sense of right and wrong, he was very fair and had a real conviction for doing the right thing.”
McLoughlin was sentenced to 10 years – shortened to eight years on appeal – for the manslaughter of 49-year-old Londoner Len Delgatty in October 1983.
In July 1992 he was given a life sentence for the murder of 56-year-old Peter Halls, who was found stabbed at his Brighton home.