‘We have all been left utterly devastated’: Parents pay tribute to pilot found …

The family of a Welsh pilot found dead in his Scottish flat over the weekend have said they have been left “utterly devastated”.

The body of Steven Barrett, 27, originally from Kenfig Hill, near Bridgend, was found in his Edinburgh flat in the early hours of Saturday.

Darren McLauchlan, 23, was today remanded in custody after appearing in front of Edinburgh Sheriff Court charged with his murder.

Mr Barrett’s parents, Sian and David Barrett, were today too upset to talk.

But in a statement the family said: “We have all been left utterly devastated and are still in complete shock following Steven’s death.

“Steven was a wonderful and loving brother, son and grandson.

“His kindness and love of life were apparent to anyone he met and no one ever had a bad word to say about him.

“He was always there for his family and friends and lit up the world of everyone he knew.

“We are extremely grateful for all the kind words and messages of support we have received from those who knew and loved Steven.

However, we would now ask that we are left alone to grieve at this incredibly traumatic time.”

Mr Barrett was working as a first officer for budget airline Flybe out of Edinburgh Airport.

Becoming a pilot was his  lifelong dream and after  graduating from Swansea University he trained to be a pilot with the RAF and was named pilot of the year in 2007.

Having earned his wings in 2009 he spent more than two  years with the RAF before being made redundant.

He then retrained to become a commercial airline pilot in Jerez de  la Frontera, Spain – later getting a job with Flybe.

Friends and former colleagues of Mr Barrett – who was  known by the nickname Baz  and who worked as volunteer  lifeguard when he was younger  – also paid tribute.

Gareth Law wrote on Facebook: “This is  horrific news. Steven ‘Baz’ Barrett was an awesome athlete  and an even better person, a  true gent and will be missed by  all who had the pleasure of  knowing him.”

While Chris Bluck, chairman of  Rest Bay Lifeguards Club in Porthcawl, said: “Sad news  about Steven. Our thoughts go  out to his family.

He will always  be a part of RestBay Lifeguards Club.”

A spokesman for the club added: “It was fantastic that Steven got into the RAF where he trained as a pilot and more recently worked as a commercial pilot.

“So sad that such a talented young man’s life has been ended so early.

Friend Hywel Davies said: “This is really sad news.

“I remember Steven as an awesome athlete and him and his brother Stuart were most valued club members.

“My thoughts go out to his family.”

A spokesman for the Rumney Squadron Air Training Corps in Cardiff – where Mr Barrett had once been a cadet – said all its members were thinking of Mr Barrett’s family.

“Many people who met him will have many stories to share and all of what a fun life-loving, mischievous and committed character he was,” he said.

“We can’t help but be touched at the loss of one of our own.”

A spokesman for the company who runs the Spanish training course, Flight Training Europe, said Mr Barrett had excelled during his commercial airline pilot training.

“Steven was a former RAF cadet,” he said.

“He joined us after they were forced to make compulsory redundancies due to the British government’s financial cutbacks.

“Aware of this unfortunate situation, we tailored a special training package for redundant RAF pilots wishing to continue their aviation career as commercial pilots.

“Steven excelled throughout the course, completed his training and went on to join Flybe.”

A Flybe spokesman added: “Our thoughts and sympathies are with Steven’s family at this tragic and very sad time.

“Steven was a respected member of our team and will be missed by all those who worked with him.”

McLauchlan, appeared on petition at Edinburgh Sheriff Court charged with Mr Barrett’s murder.

He made a brief appearance in private before Sheriff Paul Arthurson QC who remanded him custody.

No plea or declaration was made on his behalf and the case was continued for further inquiry.

Article source: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/parents-pay-tribute-welsh-pilot-2547112