Hartlepool family of murdered tattooist Mick Dale pay tribute to a man 'always ready to pick other people up'
"He was always ready to pick other people up."
The brother of Hartlepool man Michael Dale has paid tribute to the talented tattooist after he was found stabbed to death.
Michael, 46, known to friends as Mick, was found dead at his home in Lancashire where he had lived for almost 30 years.
A 37-year-old man has appeared in court charged with his murder and is set to face trial later this year.
Brother Graham, 48, said the family is still waiting to arrange a funeral service but that it would be an occasion to pay tribute to Mick.
"He would want everybody to still be upbeat," he said.
"He was always perky and even in his lowest mood, he was always ready to pick other people up.
"We are going to celebrate his life."
Mick grew up in Hartlepool - his parents still live in the town - but moved to Lancashire as a teenager to follow his big brother.
"He went to Owton Manor Primary, then Manor Comprehensive," said Graham.
"We were very close but we were typical brothers - we loved each other to bits but we fought like cat and dog."
When Graham moved to Lancashire for work, his little brother was not far behind.
"He has lived down there since he was 18," said Graham.
"I had left home and was working down there as an apprentice. Michael came down and he loved the place.
"I got homesick and came home but he stayed down there."
Michael's love of tattoos began at an early age.
"He had begun drawing tattoos from being about 11," said Graham.
"He was absolutely obsessed with drawing and colouring in and was always drawing tattoos. It is something that he carried into his adult life when he became a tattooist.
"At one point, he was offered a job in America but he turned it down because he did not want to leave his young family."
Michael leaves two daughters, aged 13 and 11, as well as a five-year-old son and two step-children.
The family has been comforted by support from an unexpected source - Neville Staple, of chart-topping band The Specials.
"His grandson was stabbed and killed - he sent a message passing on his condolences to the family," said Graham.
"It was just something that he had seen, but Michael was a fan of The Specials, so we were very grateful for that."
Lancashire Constabulary said: “Police were called by the ambulance service at around 1.15am on Thursday, May 2nd after Mr Dale was found with injuries inside a property on Charles Lane.
“Mr Dale, 46, of Haslingden, was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.
“A Home Office post mortem examination gave the cause of death as stab wounds.”
Michael was not insured and Graham has set up a page online to collect donatios in his memory.
Anyone who wishes to give to donate can do so at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/graham-dale