A family has paid tribute to a Wiltshire teenager who died after being assaulted during a night out in Bath city centre.
Police launched a murder probe after the death of Ben Smith, 18, who died in hospital after the attack in the early hours of the morning (1 November)
The attack happened between 2.30am and 3am in Corn Street and followed a fight at a nearby McDonald’s restaurant.
It is understood that that teenager suffered a head injury and died in hospital the next day.
A 19-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder following Ben’s death remains on police bail while the investigation continues.
And the family of Ben, of Melksham, have now paid tribute and released a picture of him.
In a statement, they said: “The family are astounded by the outpour of love and tributes from the community both personally and across social media. It is a tribute to a very special young man who has left so many wonderful memories for those who loved him.
“His family, friends and all that loved Ben are absolutely devastated at the loss of a boy who so was kind, caring and who had so much love for all of those around him. Ben never judged anybody.”
The family said Ben was a much-loved son, brother and grandson. They said he loved his sport and at the age of four began swimming with Melksham Swordfish, then at the age of six started football with Melksham Town Football’s youth team, which he continued for many years.
The statement added: “At 18 years of age, Ben finally passed his driving test after lockdown.
“In his first week of driving, Ben finished work and drove to Oxford to pick a friend up who had been working there all week.
“Anybody could message Ben at any time of the night and off he would go to collect them.
“Ben had so much of his life left to live, alongside his brother Alex, whose life will never be the same. A life that he was looking forward to living, as well as fulfilling his dreams and ambitions.”
Avon and Somerset Police said Ben died in hospital on Tuesday 2 November following the assault in the early hours of Monday 1 November.
Ben was close to completing his apprenticeship at Fitting Tribute Ltd in Edington.
A spokesperson for the company added: “Not only a massive character, but a very valued member of the team.
“He will leave a huge hole for all that have worked with him.”
Ben’s group of friends are truly devastated at the loss of such a true friend and described him as: “The glue that held us all together.”
Another friend added: “The truth is, when someone is so full of character and kindness is taken away from this world so suddenly for no reason, it leaves the biggest void in everyone’s heart who knew him.”