Heartbreaking tribute paid to assault victim Joseph Ritch by his mum - ‘he left us to go and save 3 lives through organ donation’

The mother of a 31-year-old man who died after being assaulted in north Belfast last Friday has told of her love for him.

Joseph Ritch died yesterday - Wednesday 23rd March.

Detective Inspector Ian Davis said: “Police received a report just after 6.40am on Friday 18 March, of a physical altercation at an address in Flax Street, north Belfast.

“Mr Ritch, having sustained a wound to his neck, was taken to hospital for treatment for his injuries, but tragically passed away.”

In a post on social media his mum, Cinders Ritch says: “My lovely boy Joe is gone.

“He left us at half 6 this evening to go and save 3 lives through organ donation.

“I don’t want to get into details while police are investigating the incident that led to this desperately sad outcome but his name has been released to the press and I don’t want people speculating about him.

“It’s been the absolute privilege of my life to be his Mum because he taught me patience and tolerance and enriched us all with his incredible energy and intelligence.

“I will always be a mum of three amazing children.

“I will love you and miss you forever.”

Other posts from friends add: “Hearts breaking right now, only seen you last week and you where trying to get me to go party with ya rest easy Joseph Ritch my friend RIP — feeling sad.”

And another post adds: “Rest easy Joseph Ritch, what a kind, intelligent, crazy mofo that’s what made us gravitate towards each other. His beautiful words and poetry he sent and helped me one of the darkest times, will always respect and appreciate that!!! The world has lost a beautiful soul”.

Detectives who are appealing to anyone with information to contact them said: “A 30-year-old who was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder was later released pending further enquiries”.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting reference number 478 of 18/03/22.

Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org on 101, quoting reference number 478 of 18/03/22.

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