Northampton

Ralph Baxter death: Family tribute to 'loving husband'

Ralph Baxter getting his MBE Image copyright Baxter family
Image caption Ralph Baxter was awarded an MBE for his dedication and commitment to the Civil Service

A man who died following an altercation between two dog walkers had been appointed an MBE and could often be found "pounding the pavement" for the Labour Party.

Retired civil servant Ralph Baxter, 74, died while walking his dog in Roade, Northamptonshire, on Wednesday.

A 27-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder has been released on bail.

In a tribute, Mr Baxter's family said he was a "loving husband, step-father, step-grandfather, brother, and uncle".

A post-mortem examination into his death carried out at Leicester Royal Infirmary came back as "unascertained".

Mr Baxter had been walking his dog, Bertie, in Hyde Road at about 16:20 BST when he was assaulted.

Residents said there had been a clash between his pet and a larger, husky-type dog.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Mr Baxter was treated by paramedics but died a short time later

The family tribute said: "Ralph was a loving husband, step-father, step-grandfather, brother, and uncle."

He had lived in Roade for 35 years and was an avid Northampton Saints supporter.

He was awarded an MBE by the Queen for his dedication and commitment to the Civil Service.

"Ralph was also a keen member of the Labour Party and could always be relied on to 'pound the pavement' at canvassing time," the tribute added.

"He will be greatly missed by his family, colleagues, neighbours and friends."

Det Insp Pete Long said his team are "working around the clock" on what is a "very difficult and complex investigation".

He added that police believe it was "an isolated incident".

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