Tributes for dog walker killed at servo
A community is mourning the death of a rugby league club volunteer and "larrikin" who was allegedly stabbed to death while out walking his daughter's dog.
Robert 'Bobby' Palmer, 54, had devoted 40 years of his life to the Newcastle-based Shortland Devils Rugby League Football Club and had stopped for a kebab at the Metro service station on Sandgate Road, Shortland, just after 8pm on Saturday.
Police will allege Zack Mavin, 24, approached the store after he had earlier held up a 711 service station down the road, but fled empty-handed.
Mr Palmer challenged the young man when he arrived at the Metro, where Mr Mavin was allegedly armed with a knife, before police say the argument turned physical.
Mr Mavin is accused of then stabbing Mr Palmer in the abdomen.
Paramedics tried desperately to save him but he died at the scene.
He is being remembered as a "true gentleman" who "was always the first to do a good deed".
The Devils posted a tribute online, with the club sending its condolences to Mr Palmer's family.
"Bobby was taken from us too soon, and will be terribly missed," the club wrote.
"Our thoughts first and foremost are with Bobby's family, and we extend our deepest sympathies to them."
The post has since attracted dozens of messages from community members mourning the loss.
"Always had a smile and a cheeky grin," one person said.
Another said: "Sweetest funniest man I've met … great memories I can carry. Sending my love and condolences to the family. Gone but never forgotten."
Another man said he had lived up the road from Mr Palmer and had known him for his whole life.
"He would take the shirt off his back to help anyone," he wrote in his tribute.
Mr Palmer was also a popular regular at The Shortland Hotel, where patrons drank schooners around an empty stool usually reserved for the 54-year-old on Sunday.
"Everyone here at The Shorty are deeply saddened at the loss of one of our favourite larrikins Bobby. His witty sense of humour will be missed by both the staff and our patrons. Our thoughts are with his family at this time," the pub wrote on Facebook.
Police located Mr Mavin at a house down the road following Saturday night's horror incident.
Officers attempted to speak to him "without success" and he was arrested after being tasered before he was taken to Newcastle Police Station and charged with murder.
The 24-year-old was refused police bail and appeared in Newcastle Local Court on Sunday.
He will return to court on Monday.
Originally published as Tributes for dog walker killed at servo