OLD WHITTINGTON: ‘Gentle giant’ is killed by horsefly

Philip Batty, left, with his late brother Andy.
Philip Batty, left, with his late brother Andy.

A man has paid tribute to his “gentle giant” brother who died after being bitten by a horsefly.

Andy Batty had been watching his 17-year-old daughter Catherine ride her horse in Brixham, Devon, when he was bitten by the insect and died almost instantly from an allergic reaction.

The 51-year-old, who lived in Derbyshire for most of his life, collapsed as a result of the anaphylactic shock and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Experts say the case is very rare.

His brother Philip, 56, of Holland Road, Old Whittington, said: “I can’t believe he’s died like this.

“Andy was a very pleasant and likeable man who would do anything for anyone.

“He was a gentle giant and everyone spoke highly of him.

“He was 6ft and could lift anything – it’s so shocking to think he’s been killed by a horsefly.”

Dad-of-four Andy lived in Staveley, Brimington, and Dronfield before moving to Devon in the mid-1990s.

The engineer enjoyed fishing, rugby and spending time with his family.

Philip added: “I was due to be going down to see him in a few weeks – we were both looking forward to catching up with each other.

“I never thought I’d be going to his funeral instead.”

Two ambulances and a helicopter were called out after Andy was bitten at the end of last month.

Lindsey McManus, deputy chief executive at Allergy UK, said: “It is more common for people to develop localised infection and pain around the bite.

“This is very unusual and although horsefly bites can be painful, the likelihood of someone being this allergic is very rare indeed.”

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