TRIBUTES have poured in for a tragic student who was found dead in his home by his father the day after his 19th birthday.
Artist and musician Robbie Smith – a law and art student at Hartlepool Sixth Form College – died in his bedroom at his home in Wharton Terrace, Hartlepool.
News of his death has sent shockwaves around the college and today Acting Principal Carole Horseman paid tribute to the popular and talented teen.
She told the Mail: “Robbie was studying music, art and law at Hartlepool Sixth Form College.
“He was a talented keyboard player who performed at The Grand Hotel last month in one of the college’s concerts. He also regularly entertained students at lunch times in the college’s atrium. We will be dedicating one of our forthcoming concerts to his memory.
“He was also a highly talented artist and produced some fantastic work, he even used to design tattoos for students.
“We will be seeking permission from his parents to enter some of his art work into our annual exhibition which will take place at the end of this academic year.”
She added: “It is absolutely terrible what has happened and we have offered support to students who were particularly close to him or who were affected by his death.
“Robbie was a popular student with both staff and other students.
“We are all deeply shocked at his death and our thoughts go out to his family at this very difficult time.”
Mail readers also left online tributes on the Mail’s Facebook page, with June Martin saying: “Deepest sympathy to Bob and family at this sad time xxx Also to Jeannette and Valerie in Wales, sending our wishes to you and your family as well. A dear friend when you lived in Milbank Road xxxxxxx”
Alison Flint wrote: “So sad R.I.P x”, and Julie McAthey added: “Sad and strange, hope they find some answers. RIP.”
Natalie Brown said: “Heartbreaking, his poor family. RIP x.
Gaynor Marie Hedley said: “What a tragedy.x”
The teenager had celebrated his birthday with his dad, Bob Smith on Thursday, March 13, with the pair enjoying a pizza and a couple of drinks at home.
But the following afternoon, on Friday, March 14, former joiner Bob, 51, returned home to find his son had died in his bed.
A post mortem examination has not been able to establish the cause of Robbie’s tragic death, so some of his organs have been sent to specialists in London and Newcastle to try to give his grief-stricken family some answers.
Robbie’s funeral will be held at St Oswald’s Church, in Brougham Terrace, Hartlepool, at 1.30pm on Wednesday, before burial at Stranton Grange Cemetery.