Tributes to cliff death man Simon
TRIBUTES have been pouring in for Exmouth biker Simon John Batten who was found dead on a cliff-face at Budleigh Salterton. Mr Batten, 38, was discovered on Friday lunchtime on a cliff ledge close to East Devon Golf Club's 17th hole.
TRIBUTES have been pouring in for Exmouth biker Simon John Batten who was found dead on a cliff-face at Budleigh Salterton.
Mr Batten, 38, was discovered on Friday lunchtime on a cliff ledge close to East Devon Golf Club's 17th hole.
A large-scale operation involving police, Exmouth and Beer coastguards and the coastguard helicopter lasted for several hours to recover Mr Batten's body, which was discovered half way down an 80 foot cliff ledge.
The police said they were not treating Mr Batten's death as suspicious and were preparing to submit a report to the coroner.
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This week, friends and work colleagues have paid tribute to a popular man who was known throughout East Devon for his love of motorcycles.
The Harley Davidson rider was a member of the coveted Satan Slaves motorcycle group.
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It is expected scores of bikers from across the region will form a motorcycle cortege at Mr Batten's funeral.
Mr Batten was married with children from a previous marriage and had family in Dalwood, near Axminster.
He had been working as a casual builder for Barry Olds, of Exmouth, for the past two months.
Honiton-based King Rollo Films owner and managing director Leo Nielsen, where Simon had worked for around six years, this week led the tributes.
Mr Nielsen said Simon had been an 'extremely' competent computer technician and a quick learner, whose skills were an asset to the animation company.
Mr Nielsen said: "He was an extremely intelligent guy and he always performed extremely well for us. I was shocked and saddened to hear he had died."
Former colleagues at CeramTec in Colyton, where Mr Batten worked from July 1987 until March 1996, said they were 'shocked' to hear the news of his death.
A spokesman said Mr Batten joined the company as a young man and took up various positions over the years, ending up in the cutting department as a machine setter.
He said: "Everyone who knew Simon here is saddened to hear about his death.
"He was a very likable young man, with a keen sense of humour and was a pleasure to work with.
"Things that stick in people's minds at the factory are his tattoos, his body jewellery and he was well known for driving around in a Ford Capri."
Since Mr Batten's body was found by a dog walker, police have been taking statements from friends to track his last movements ahead of compiling a report for the coroner.
Detective Sergeant Pete Jones, of Exmouth CID, said: "The post mortem has now been conducted and it has not revealed anything suspicious.
"The body has now been released to the family for burial."
An original plan to lower a scene of crime officer down to Mr Batten's body to investigate was deemed too risky due to the treacherous terrain.
Exmouth and Beer coastguard teams recovered Mr Batten's body onto a stretcher, which was airlifted to the golf course.
Walkers using the footpath were diverted onto the golf course while the recovery and investigations took place.