TRIBUTES have been paid to a “kind and caring” husband and wife who died within a week of each other.

Nigel Porter, aged 55, died suddenly on May 6. His wife Pat, 54, had died only five days earlier after a battle with illness.

The couple, who lived in Alderbury, had been married for 30 years and had three children.

Nigel, a former Detective Sergeant, retired from Wiltshire Police last year after more than 23 years of service, and Pat worked as a nurse.

Their son Thor said it was a “great source of pride” for him and his siblings, adding: “As kids, they always made us feel safe.”

Thor said the couple were “great people” who were “born to be parents, who would go above and beyond to support us in every life choice we made”.

He described how his parents would drive him to gigs and rehearsals, and take his brother Dom to rugby training “at least four nights a week, having worked all day” as well as taking their daughter Millie to school and various dance classes, and said: “They cherished their one and only girl.”

“Not once did they complain,” Thor said. “They would just beam with pride when telling their friends all about our achievements.

“We really do owe everything we have achieved to our mum and dad. Their marriage was something we have aspired to because, for them, marriage was for life.

“Our parents were husband and wife, mum and dad and granny and grandad, but most importantly of all they were best friends.

“Over the last two weeks we have been in contact with many of their friends and have been lucky enough to see them in the same light as they did – kind, caring people with a great sense of humour and always wanting to help others.

“We are so moved by the response to the tragic news and elated to see how many people’s lived they touched over the years.

“When our mother passed, dad found it so hard to deal with. To lose his wife and his best mate was all too much to bear.

“Our love for them is truly endless and they will remain forever in our hearts.”

In December last year Nigel was presented with the Chief Constable’s Commendation at the Force Awards for his role in bringing to justice an organised crime group, who were responsible for 120 safe burglaries across the South West and parts of the West Midlands.

Due to the extensive investigation carried out by the team, all suspects were arrested and charged.

Chief Constable Mike Veale said: “On behalf of Wiltshire Police I would like to pay tribute to Nigel Porter, who was a fantastic colleague and friend to many of officers and staff.

“During his time with the Force, Nigel made many friends – many of whom still work here and have many happy memories of Nigel both as a friend and as a colleague. I know they will understandably be very saddened by the tragic news of his death.

“Nigel was a hard-working, tenacious and extremely proud detective during his time with Wiltshire Police and in December I was proud to present him with a certificate of commendation. It was one of many commendations that Nigel received over his distinguished career.

“The professionalism and commitment that he showed throughout his career is seconded only by his contribution as a friend and mentor to his colleagues as well as a highly regarded part of our Wiltshire Police team.

“It is always tragic to lose a member of our policing family and although Nigel had retired, the sense of loss is greatly felt by the Force he proudly dedicated a long career to and by his many friends who still work here. Equally, though, I am sure the many fond memories many of us here have of Nigel will be cherished.

“All of our thoughts are with his family and friends at this incredibly sad time.”