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Wickham comes to terms with killing of‘lovely man’

WELL-LIKED: Robbie Parry, right, was known for his generosity and community spirit; at left, the police investigate his shooting in Wickham. Man dies after Wickham shooting

ROBBIE Parry’s murder in his Wickham home has left his friends distressed, wondering who would have wanted to harm the hearing-impaired man they described as a quiet, gentle and generous battler.

Mr Parry, 41, and his elderly father Al were at their single-storey Dickson Street home about 3am on Saturday when police say at least one male intruder entered the property and shot Mr Parry in the abdomen.

Newcastle City police crime manager Detective Inspector Peter Mahon said police and ambulance paramedics administered first aid to Mr Parry, but he was unable to be revived and died at the scene.

Licensee and manager of the Croatian Wickham Sports Club Pavo Sudaric said Mr Parry had been his ‘‘right hand’’ as a club member for the past 10 years and a board member for five.

‘‘He was a lovely, lovely man – he would give you his blood,’’ Mr Sudaric said. ‘‘I thought it was a joke when I heard the news, I still think he’s going to come back.

‘‘In my heart he’s not dead – I will miss him dearly.’’

Mr Sudaric said the ‘‘highly respected’’ and ‘‘protective’’ Mr Parry had visited the club on Friday afternoon, as he did most days, sometimes with his father.

He was understood to be on disability and carer’s pensions but he was known to have a talent for fixing cars and would often help out at the club by picking up glasses, running errands, cooking barbecues and helping tidy up.

Mr Parry’s friend Nikki Dures said ‘‘hundreds’’ of people had gathered at the club on Saturday afternoon to remember their friend.

‘‘He was very popular for his loving, caring and giving soul,’’ she said. ‘‘He’d give you his shoes, he’d give you his last dollar, if you were broken down he’d be the first one to give you a ride.’’

Ms Dures said those who shot her friend must have ‘‘gone to the wrong place’’.

‘‘If you needed something and he had it, you’d have it,’’ she said. ‘‘There’s not anybody that would not like Robbie Parry.’’

The Bottle-O Wickham fine wine manager Michael Salem said Mr Parry visited his shop every other night, but that nothing seemed amiss on Friday evening just before close.

‘‘The guy kept to himself but he wouldn’t hurt a fly,’’ Mr Salem said.

‘‘He was very gentle and would give you the shirt off his back – and sometimes he’d come in without a shirt so I’d have to tell him to go back home and put one on.

‘‘I’d abuse him and he’d abuse me, we’d joke around.

‘‘When he walked out on Friday he just said, ‘See you tomorrow’, as he always does – and then he was gone.’’

When he was told of the shooting early on Saturday morning, Mr Salem said Mr Parry was ‘‘the last person I’d expect’’ to be the victim.

‘‘He never said a bad word about anyone and I never heard him swear,’’ he said.

‘‘I can’t imagine he would have offended anyone.’’

Mr Salem said he understood Mr Parry had been a courier driver for Klosters, collected scrap metal and at the time of his death was a full-time carer for his father.

‘‘He was a battler.’’

Police found a small amount of cannabis plant and leaf at the home, but Detective Inspector Mahon said there was ‘‘nothing at all’’ to suggest it was a known drug house.

Mr Sudaric said he understood Mr Parry made an oil for his father to drink that relieved him of having to take other medications.

Residents of Dickson Street and nearby Grey Street said they had not heard the gunshot or any sirens, but said the tight-knit community was ‘‘very distressed’’ about the death of the ‘‘lovely’’ Mr Parry, who they regularly saw walking the suburb’s.

Neighbour Lyn Kilby said Mr Parry was one of the ‘‘treasures of Wickham’’ and ‘‘an integral part’’ of the community group Great Lifestyle of Wickham.

‘‘The blessings he brought to other people showed that he had a sense of humility,’’ Mrs Kilby said.

‘‘It has shaken up this suburb so much because he touched a lot of people.

‘‘Whoever has done this has taken something away from us,’’ Mrs Kilby said.

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