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Emotional farewell is paid to student on day he would have turned 21

Jess Fairweather, left, with his brother Sam, on Cromer Pier. Picture: COURTESY OF SAM FAIRWEATHER

Jess Fairweather, left, with his brother Sam, on Cromer Pier. Picture: COURTESY OF SAM FAIRWEATHER

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Warm, funny, very distinct and certainly memorable. Those are just some of the words used to describe Jess Fairweather at an emotional farewell on the day he would have turned 21.

At the funeral service for Jess Fairweather, which took place at Bluebell Wood in Hainford on what would have been his 21st birthday. Picture: STUART ANDERSONAt the funeral service for Jess Fairweather, which took place at Bluebell Wood in Hainford on what would have been his 21st birthday. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

More than 100 family members and friends were at Bluebell Wood in Hainford on Tuesday to pay their last respects to Jess, who was found dead in his room at the University of East Anglia on October 11.

His brother Sam, partner Ryan, mum Bev Bishop and dad Simon Fairweather were among those who paid tribute to the popular first-year law student, who was known for his spirit, intelligence and sense of humour.

Sam recalled growing up with Jess, which they did originally in Cromer and then in North Walsham.

He said: “He was an amazing brother who would always be there when I needed him. My greatest nemesis, fiercest ally, very difficult to get on with, and worth every bloody second.”

At the funeral service for Jess Fairweather, which took place at Bluebell Wood in Hainford on what would have been his 21st birthday. Picture: STUART ANDERSONAt the funeral service for Jess Fairweather, which took place at Bluebell Wood in Hainford on what would have been his 21st birthday. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

Simon said Jess was a “born advocate”, and told a story of when he once successfully argued his way out of trouble after arriving to class late.

In his tribute, Ryan said: “Jess was amazing and one of a kind. He was very caring, and he always made me laugh. His was very bright, and he was determined to win - or at least have the last word - in every debate. That’s why he would have made such a good lawyer.”

Ms Bishop said that though she knew Jess was troubled, she did not realise the depth of what he was going through.

She said of her son: “He filled me with so much joy and so much happiness. I loved him, and I will love him forever.”

Ms Bishop recounted a trip to London the two had made to see Chicago, singing along to all the songs in the front row before talking into the small hours.

She said: “My Jess was charming, witty, clever and he had so much razzle dazzle.”

The song Razzle Dazzle, from the musical, was played at the end of the service, and those gathered sang the last verse together in Jess’s memory.

Afterwards, friends and family gathered at the Chequers Inn to share their own memories of Jess.

Jess went to North Walsham High School, Paston College and then City College Norwich, before starting his law degree at UEA, where he had also joined the law society.

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