Festival-goer ‘takes his own life’ after becoming separated from family after Radio 1’s Big Weekend

Family heartache as festival-goer, 23, ‘takes his own life’ after becoming separated from relatives on way home from Radio 1’s Big Weekend

  • Gemma Braithwaite spoke of heartache over death of stepbrother Isaac Powner
  • The 23-year-old died on Saturday night following an incident on the A174
  • He had just got separated from his relatives at the Middlesbrough-based festival

Gemma Braithwaite said stepbrother Isaac Powner (both pictured) sent a message to a family WhatsApp group on Saturday night

A reveller has ‘taken his own life’ after getting separated from his family at Radio 1’s Big Weekend.

Isaac Powner, 23, died on Saturday night following an incident on the A174, shortly after he became separated from his relatives at the Middlesbrough-based festival.

Stepsister Gemma Braithwaite has spoke of the shock and crippling heartache felt over his death.

Ms Braithwaite, 33, said a message was sent to a family Whatsapp group from Isaac’s mobile phone at 9.27pm and that was the last they heard from him.

‘He had been at the festival with his family and was absolutely fine, he had been dancing around and having a great time,’ Ms Braithwaite told Teesside Live.

‘They got separated and were trying to link back up with each other.

‘At 7.20pm he sent a message saying he was waiting by the waltzers. His cousin James, who was like a brother to him, went to look for him but couldn’t see him.

‘Then there was no communication until the message.’

It was the last they heard from him before the 23-year-old was involved in an incident on the A174

It is understood Isaac took his own life but an inquest will be opened into his death.

He had been due to go back on the Sunday to enjoy the festival with his girlfriend Bethany Golden.

The couple, who had been together for over a year, had also just booked a holiday together in 2020.

Ms Braithwaite said Isaac had been excited to watch Miley Cyrus headline the festival that night, as he was a big fan.

Isaac (pictured with girlfriend Bethany Golden) became separated from his relatives at the Middlesbrough-based festival. He had been due to go back on Sunday with Bethany

Isaac (pictured with girlfriend Bethany Golden) became separated from his relatives at the Middlesbrough-based festival. He had been due to go back on Sunday with Bethany

Police are now examining CCTV to track Isaac’s movements that night.

Isaac lived with his mother Suzie Henderson-Thynne in the Oxford Road area of Linthorpe and was an adored little brother of Robyn Powner, 27, and much-loved stepbrother to Ms Braithwaite and Chantelle Ward, 30.

A former Ormesby School pupil, he had spent time working in Benidorm with his father Paul Powner who runs a bar in the Spanish town with Isaac’s stepmother Janet.

Paul flew back to Teesside following the devastating news and faced the agony of identifying his son’s body.

It is thought Isaac took his own life but an inquest will be opened into his death. His father Paul (pictured with Isaac) flew back to Teesside following the devastating news and had to identify his son's body

It is thought Isaac took his own life but an inquest will be opened into his death. His father Paul (pictured with Isaac) flew back to Teesside following the devastating news and had to identify his son’s body

All the family is struggling to come to terms with their loss but Ms Braithwaite said they are close-knit and are all supporting each other.

Paying tribute to her stepbrother she said Isaac was ‘the most beautiful man with everything to live for’.

‘He was so funny, so happy, outgoing, popular and with so many friends,’ she said.

All the family is struggling to come to terms with Isaac's (pictured with his mother Suzie Henderson-Thynne and his sister Robyn Powner) death but Ms Braithwaite said they are close-knit and are all supporting each other

All the family is struggling to come to terms with Isaac’s (pictured with his mother Suzie Henderson-Thynne and his sister Robyn Powner) death but Ms Braithwaite said they are close-knit and are all supporting each other

‘Everyone says it but Isaac really was the life and soul of the party. I don’t think he realised just how popular he was.’

Isaac was also a huge Middlesbrough fan and as a youngster he was invited to be a mascot and is pictured beaming with the players.

‘He went to every single Boro game, he would spend his last penny on them,’ said Ms Braithwaite.

Paying tribute to her stepbrother Ms Braithwaite said Isaac (pictured Robyn and father Paul when they were children) was 'the most beautiful man with everything to live for'

Paying tribute to her stepbrother Ms Braithwaite said Isaac (pictured Robyn and father Paul when they were children) was ‘the most beautiful man with everything to live for’

‘He lit up our lives. He always had a smile and was always making others smile.

‘He was one of the most genuine, nicest people you could ever meet with an absolute heart of gold.

‘We are all completely heartbroken by this and it shows you just never know what’s going on behind those smiles.’

Isaac (picture with his cousins Hannah Hardman, Charlotte Hardman and James Hardman) lived with his mother Suzie Henderson-Thynne in the Oxford Road area of Linthorpe

Isaac (picture with his cousins Hannah Hardman, Charlotte Hardman and James Hardman) lived with his mother Suzie Henderson-Thynne in the Oxford Road area of Linthorpe

She urged people to look out for signs of mental health issues in their loved ones, particularly young men.

‘We need to break the taboo of ‘men are strong’ and ‘don’t cry’ to help save their lives,’ she said.

‘Please stop telling young males to ‘man up’ and ‘stop being a wimp’.

He was a huge Middlesbrough fan and as a youngster he was invited to be a mascot and is pictured beaming with the players (pictured)

He was a huge Middlesbrough fan and as a youngster he was invited to be a mascot and is pictured beaming with the players (pictured) 

‘It really is OK not to be OK. Some people are fighting a battle even the closest to them don’t see.’

A spokesman for the BBC said: ‘We are shocked and saddened to hear the news and our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this difficult time.’

A fundraising page has been set up to help pay for Isaac’s funeral.

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