Tributes paid to Wellingborough firm director shot dead in Argentina

The boss of a Wellingborough firm has been described as a "one of the good ones" after he was shot dead by robbers in Argentina.

Monday, 16th December 2019, 3:43 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 2:11 pm
Tingdene Homes' Wellingborough base.

Matthew Gibbard, 50, has been named as the victim of the brutal attack outside a five-star hotel in the nation's capital city Buenos Aires on Saturday morning (December 14).

Mr Gibbard was a director at Tingdene Homes, based in Bradfield Road on Wellingborough's Finedon Road industrial estate, who make park homes and holiday lodges. The family firm was founded 50 years ago in 1969 by Jim Gibbard.

Tingdene Homes said nobody was available to comment but dozens of tributes to Mr Gibbard, who lived in Lowick just off the A6116, have been left online.

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One person said: "Devastating news! Such a nice family man, condolences to the Gibbard family. RIP Matthew."

Another said: "Matthew was such a genuine, friendly and helpful person. My thoughts and prayers go out to the whole family and hoping Stefan has a speedy recovery."

And another said: "Seemed by all accounts to be a thoroughly decent man with a very good sense of fair play and someone willing to give someone the benefit of the doubt. Terribly sad when good folks lose their life so early on - and it seems he was definitely one of the good ones."

Mr Gibbard, who was also the director of a vineyard and marina firms, was described as a 'true petrolhead' who would regularly attend events in nearby Sharnbrook.

Argentinian media reports say his family was followed from the city's Ezeiza Airport to the hotel after being 'marked' by two attackers who launched the attack when he got out of a minibus.

CCTV published by an Argentinian newspaper shows the moment all hell breaks loose as people are seen scrambling for cover when shots are fired.

Mr Gibbard was shot and died at hospital. Another man, reported to be his step-son Stefan Zone, was shot in the leg.

Four people have since been arrested and the Argentinian president branded the incident "atrocious", according to reports.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are supporting the family of two British men following an incident in Buenos Aires, and are in contact with the local authorities.”

Another man who paid tribute to Mr Gibbard said: "Just horrendous news. RIP Matt and sincere condolences to family, friends and work colleagues."