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Fears grow for missing Yarmouth man

PUBLISHED: 09:39 05 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:31 03 July 2010

As concern grew last night for a missing father of three, his mother and partner joined in an impassioned plea for the public to help police in the search.

As concern grew last night for a missing father of three, his mother and partner joined in an impassioned plea for the public to help police in the search.

Detectives investigating the unlikely disappearance of Derek Tempest, 30, on Wednesday last week are looking at possible links with two garage owners, Jim Hall and Andy Ventham, who were found dead at their workshop in Camden Place, Great Yarmouth - having apparently committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning - five days later.

As police yesterday stepped up the forensic examination of the pair's terrace home in Queen's Road, Det Chief Insp Rick Munns confirmed Mr Tempest knew them and it was believed he had visited their business premises, Halls Garage, on the afternoon of his disappearance.

He said: “It would be inappropriate to speculate on the purpose of that visit at this time.”

He said they were very concerned for Mr Tempest's welfare as the disappearance appeared to be out of character.

“We are keeping an open mind as to where he might be and would appeal for anyone with information to come forward,” he said.

Mr Tempest's mother Lesley, 50, yesterday echoed the plea for the public to help, but said she feared the worst as the days went on.

She said: “He would not have just gone away without telling me. He rings me every day. I have been suicidal and in hospital after taking overdoses in the past and he has been there to support me.”

Mrs Tempest, of Middle Market Road, Yarmouth, who lost her youngest son Dale, 24, in a road accident in Lincolnshire, described the waiting as hell. “I just want my life back,” she said.

Mr Tempest's partner of nine years, Sarah Sherfield, 28, described him as an “outgoing, family man who liked being with his mum, family and friends”.

She said she had last seen him at 1.30pm on Wednesday last week when he gave her a kiss and left their flat in Nottingham Way, Yarmouth, saying he would be home in a couple of hours.

She said she was aware Derek had recently been to see Mr Hall and Mr Ventham at both their garage in Camden Place and Queen's Road home.

She confessed she did not know what to think about his disappearance, but said he had never gone missing before.

Jobless Mr Tempest, who has three children, Regan, six, Charlie three, and five-month-old Reece, grew up in Yarmouth and worked as a technician for an offshore company on the Harfreys Industrial Estate until about 18 months ago.

One of his close friends, Richard Brooking, said: “It is not looking good at all especially with all the rumours and information we keep hearing.”

Yesterday there were three scenes of crime vans parked outside Queen's Road and some floral tributes had been left in memory of Mr Hall and Mr Ventham, who were both keen bikers and are believed to be aged in their 60s and 50s respectively.

A mechanic at the nearby Pertwee and Back garage said Mr Hall regularly used to come in to get tyres. The mechanic, who did not wish to be named, said: “He always seemed nice and polite. He was huge into his bikes and rode one on Saturdays on the roads around here.”

Mr Tempest was last seen at 4pm in the Blackfriars Road area last Wednesday. He is about 6ft with short light brown hair. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, dark brown/khaki jacket, white trainers and a white baseball cap.

Police confirmed that the deaths of Mr Hall and Mr Ventham are not being treated as suspicious. Post mortem examinations had been completed and further tests had been carried out to determine the exact cause of death.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts should contact Yarmouth police on 0845 4564567.

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