Friday February 18 - Thursday March 3 2011
Mother tells of the mysterious death of her ‘sunshine son’ OLIVIA HEATH & AMY McCULLOUGH K0816568 K0812791
THE mother of a 22-year-old Kingston University student has spoken for the first time about her grief and the mystery that surrounds her son’s death. The body of Oliver Giddings’s was discovered by a passer-by in Twickenham’s Crane Park Island last year. An inquest was opened and adjourned after hearing the cause of death was suffocation caused by a plastic bag. Oliver’s mother, Janet, 54, of Twickenham, said: “It looks as if there was some speculation of suicide. I don’t think he would be capable of something like that. “Oliver was a very optimistic
person. He was very bright, two years above average in his schoolwork. He was like sunshine. “He was a complex person. He tried his hand at everything and succeeded. He had so much to live for. “We were always close. He had friends and things that he would talk to but he was always very hard to talk to, very hard to get things out of.” Oliver, who studied information technology as a joint course with Kingston University and Richmond College, was reported missing to the police on December 16 and was found almost two weeks later on December 29 last year. Tributes to the Kingston University student, who had a passion for computers, have flooded in from friends following his death on a Fa-
cebook group page. Oliver’s friend, Millie Pardoe wrote: “Don’t even know what to say. Just in pure shock. Miss you already buddy.” James Arnold wrote: “I feel like a huge chunk of me is missing. I wish everyone would stop bickering and pointing the finger. “We are all in pain.” Mr Arnold continued: “You had time for everyone and you cared, you cared about everything and everyone.” Oliver, who passed exams with “flying colours”, was due to receive a scholarship for his IT studies just a month after he died. Judy May, IT course director at Richmond College, said: “Oliver was a popular member of all the classes he took and is fondly remembered by all the staff.
“In losing Oliver not only have we lost a lovely young man but a unique and original thinker,” she said. “He was far from a standard student and could be relied upon to make us look at the subject matter from a different perspective and could lead a class discussion into unexpected avenues.” Oliver’s father also spoke of his devastation over the loss of his son. “He was very lovable. He had been in hospital recently and there had been queues of people Oliver Giddings found after Christmas waiting to see him,” said Allister Giddings. Park Island. Mrs Giddings remains hopeful Oliver’s funeral took place last month at Hanworth Crematorium. that the inquest later this year will A week later friends held a memo- solve the mystery surrounding Olrial for him at Twickenham’s Crane iver’s death.
Kingston to see Olympic glory KINGA WISNIEWSKA K0825750 OLYMPIC cyclists will speed through the streets of Kingston on the opening weekend of the London 2012 Games, turning the world’s eyes on the borough. The road race, which is expected to attract thousands of visitors, will start and finish at The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace. It will pass through a two mile section of Kingston. “Students can enjoy a great day watching the cyclists whip through Kingston, hopefully it will encourage more students to cycle to uni,” said Rhiannon Hiscocks, vicepresident of Activities at Kingston University Students Union. The competitors will pass Hampton Court Palace, go over Kingston Bridge and re-enter Richmond Park at Kingston Gate on their way back to Buckingham Palace. Kingston residents will be able to cheer on cycling champion Nicole Cooke who is looking to defend her Olympic title from the Beijing Games. Mark Cavendish who is one of the big home hopes and winner of five stages on last years Tour de France, is bidding for the men’s title. Organisers are planning a trial event which is to be held in August this year in preparation for the cycling events which are scheduled to take place on July 28 and 29. Hugh Robertson MP, Minister
Star cyclists will ride to the top on their way through Kingston in 2012
Mark Cavendish will ride through Kingston on his way to gold at the London 2012 Olympics
for Sport and the Olympics said: “The Road Race is one of the first major events of London 2012 and
will be followed closely by supporters looking for a home medal. “I am therefore delighted that it
will showcase many of our great landmarks and that crowds will be able to watch it live.”
Kingston University is also one of six UK institutions that won the right to supply students to help with broadcasting the Olympic Games in London.