TRIBUTES have been paid to a plumber with a “heart of gold” who was allegedly killed in a hit-and-run by a mob brandishing “long bats”.
Heartbroken family members today confirmed 34-year-old Frank Bulbrook was the murder victim.
Frank was allegedly killed by a blue Ford Transit van while fleeing a group of men.
It happened after police were called to reports of 10 men fighting outside the Gordon Arms pub in Chislehurst, South East London, on Friday night. They found two men stabbed.
Two minutes later they were alerted to the hit-and-run a mile away. Frank’s devastated mum was there when he died at the scene.
A Met Police spokesman said the incidents were being treated as linked.
Three men – including the two found with stab wounds outside the pub – have been arrested on suspicion of murder.
The plumber lived nearby with his mum Sarah after recently breaking up with his girlfriend.
Paying tribute, a family friend told the Sun Online: “I can see his beautiful blue eyes now. He was so handsome and very popular with the ladies. Frank was such a gentleman and very well mannered and respectful.
“He’s going to be missed an awful lot. We will see that at his huge funeral which will be attended by hundreds of people, I’m sure. Everybody loved Frank.
“Frank was earnest and a good lad. I don’t know anyone that didn’t like him and he was never in trouble.
“His mum’s in hospital with something to do with her heart because she is so devastated.”
Frank’s two brothers cried and embraced outside his £435,000 terraced home in Chislehurst this morning.
One said: “I can’t talk. He’s dead. He’s gone.”
A bouquet of flowers were left at the scene with a note saying: “Frankie Bulbrook. To me always a laugh, you would help anyone out. Absolute pleasure knowing you. Sleep tight Frank. RIP Brother.”
A shocked neighbour said: “I can’t believe it. He had a heart of gold and was always helping others. Frank was one of the loveliest people you could come across and would go out of his way to make sure you were OK.
“He was very hard working and would go out very early as a plumber and was always doing bits in the garden and taking the dogs out for a walk.
“Frank only moved back in with his mum recently since breaking up with his girlfriend.”
Another elderly woman said: “One morning, he saw me with my walking stick struggling with some boxes the binmen had left in my garden. He said ‘hang on a minute I’ll help you’ and moved them.
“Frank was very kind and friendly. His red van was always parked outside my house so I would always see him coming and going.”
A mass brawl involving around 10 men was seen near the Gordon Arms pub on Friday night and two men were left with stab wounds.
Soon after, Frank was hit by a blue van in a nearby road and pronounced dead around 40 minutes later.
One family was driving back from a meal out when a black Mercedes and the Ford Transit van cut them off at the corner of Edgebury.
A woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: “We saw all these men running. There was between six to nine of them and initially I thought they were play fighting.
“Then as we drove a bit further we saw some of them had these long bats in their hands.
“We parked up at home and they were running towards us.
“Suddenly a man in a pink top fell over and the van just went for him on the green.
“My mum’s mate ran over and gave him CPR as she’s first aid trained but sadly she couldn’t save him.
“She’s in shock as it was so traumatic. He had an awful injury on his neck.
“The victim’s mum came down with other family and was screaming hysterically when they told her he had died. They were shouting his name Frank.”
Police said a post mortem was due to be carried out.
A spokesman for the Met said: “Inquiries are in their early stages, however these incidents are currently being treated as linked.”
Detective Chief Inspector Richard Leonard, who is leading the investigation, said: “All three men sustained their injuries in a small area close to the Gordon Arms pub.
“I believe that there are people who may have witnessed the fight, and one of the victims being struck by a van, who are yet to speak with us.
“I would urge them to come forward.
“I would also like to hear from anyone who captured any images on their mobile phones. This could play an important part in our investigation.”