TRIBUTES have been paid to a dad who was found hanged from a bridge over the Ringway main road in Basingstoke.

Shocked motorists raised the alarm after spotting the body of Wayne Cockerell on the footbridge between Thornycroft Roundabout and the Winchester Road Roundabout, in Basingstoke, around 7am last Sunday.

The road was closed for a short time while Mr Cockerell's body was recovered from the scene.

Floral tributes have been left in memory of the 42-year-old on the footbridge, which crosses the busy Ringway West.

Paying tribute to Mr Cockerell, his best friend, TJ Spence, described him as “a really funny guy.”

The 42-year-old mother-of-three, from South Ham, said: “He was always smiling and laughing. He was a really good friend and would drop everything for you, and give you the last pound in his pocket. He was so giving and loving.”

She added that Mr Cockerell, who lived in the South Ham area, was a “great father” to his 17-year-old son Jordan, adding: “Jordan was his absolute world.”

Miss Spence, who identified Mr Cockerell's body, said family and friends are “heartbroken” following his death.

She added “We are trying to understand the tragedy. We know we will never have any answers.”

Miss Spence met Mr Cockerell when she moved to Basingstoke from America, and has been friends with him for eight years.

She said: “Although he did have problems throughout the years, he came through them, and he came through a better person.”

Miss Spence said her friend, who was a painter and decorator, had tried to come to terms with the death of his brother.

She added: “He is just absolutely going to be missed. He will be missed by so many people. I find it hard to laugh without him. He was such a beautiful person.”

Tributes have also been left to Mr Cockerell on The Gazette website. One read: “R.I.P Wayne love you always in a better place now with your dad and big brother Wayne - give them all a hug up there from me, your uncle Alan.”

The police have confirmed that Mr Cockerell's death is not being treated as suspicious. An inquest was opened on Monday by the North East Hampshire Coroner's Office, and was adjourned until January 16.

You can leave a tribute to Wayne Cockerell here.