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The mother of a Torchwood actor has told of the agony of imagining her missing son’s funeral after he disappeared from his West Hampstead home more than three weeks ago.

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Concerns for the safety of 28-year-old Richard Gent have escalated since he left his home in Ravenshaw Street at 4pm on Saturday, April 21 without his mobile phone and wallet.

He has not been seen since and his disappearance is described as completely out of character.

His mother Alison Gent, who lives in Chippenham, Wiltshire, said: “The first few days were the worst really. Now we just think he’s lying low.

“I have already imagined his funeral once, but now I have got to put a positive cap on.”

His family and friends suffered the heartbreak of marking Richard’s 28th birthday without him on Sunday and described the day as “hard to get through”.

The 6ft actor, who has dark blond hair and a slight northern accent, moved to London to pursue his career three years ago where he grew to love Camden, especially Hampstead Heath and the local theatres.

He has played cameo roles in TV dramas including Casualty, Teachers, Mistresses, and hit Dr Who spin-off series Torchwood, as well as the werewolf series Being Human.

“He loved London, he loved the buzz of the city,” explained his mother. “He was trying to make it there in between his odd jobs.

“He had a few problems since Christmas, mainly money problems and pressures.

“We had tried to persuade him to come home and sort himself out financially in the short term.”

Mrs Gent saw Richard, who worked in a call centre in Acton, on the Friday before he disappeared and she did not pick up on anything unusual.

But he did not show up for work on Saturday and was meant to meet friends and told them he could not make it as something had come up.

The family have contacted all the friends he had been in contact with recently, except one university friend from Wolverhampton.

Mrs Ghent appealed for anyone who had seen her son to get in touch and made a heartfelt plea to Richard saying: “We just want to tell him we love and miss him so much and we want him to come back.”

Richard’s younger sister Lindsay Gent, 24, described him as being “loving and caring and he would do anything for others”.

She appealed for any friends who may be with Richard to “please let us know he’s safe”.

His mother has tried to get inside her son’s head since he disappeared to understand where he might have gone to.

“He enjoyed going to meditation classes,” she said. “Then you start thinking whether he was looking into becoming a Buddhist monk. I have even called monasteries.

“We have distributed posters in Lancashire where we lived when he was a child just in case he went there.”

* If you have any information, please call the police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously 0800 555 111.

Richard is urged to contact the charity Message Home’s confidential service on Freefone 0800 700 740 or email messagehome@missingpeople.org.uk for advice and support.

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