Search

Tributes paid to a blind man who died after assault on his doorstep in West Hampstead

PUBLISHED: 12:37 21 December 2012

Douglas Hutchison was known as Professor Whitestick

Douglas Hutchison was known as Professor Whitestick

Archant

Tributes have been paid to a man – affectionately known as “Professor Whitestick” – who died two weeks after he was allegedly attacked on his doorstep in West Hampstead.

.Partially sighted Douglas Hutchison, who walked with a white cane, was on his way home on the evening of November 29 this year when he was involved in an incident outside his front door in Goldhurst Terrace.

He died in hospital from head injuries last Thursday, two weeks after an 18-year-old man appeared in court charged with his attempted murder.

Known to many in the community by his witty moniker, Mr Hutchison, was a prolific arts blogger.

But his passion was making art more accessible to the blind and his cultural knowledge was unmatched, as well as his love of colourful hats.

“He always had a hat of some sort,” said Toby Davey, deputy director of Visualeyes, who came to know Mr Hutchison through their events.

“He was always so approachable and just a really nice guy. He came to everything. A lot of people knew him through tweeting and his blog posts.”

Neighbour Jo Gold, 51, who saw Mr Hutchison moments before the alleged assault, said he was wearing his trademark white Panama hat that day.

Mr Hutchison offered all kinds of helpful advice on Twitter from philosophical musings on the Dutch masters to practical advice for people with eyesight problems.

Six days before his fatal injury as heavy rain fell around the country, Mr Hutchison wrote: “Take care out there today – in the streets. Lots of mushy leaves and detached recycling bags to add to your journey.”

He also joked on his blog he liked old TV programmes but preferred the radio because “the pictures are better”.

Kate Gosling, a visitor service assistant at the Wellcome Collection, recalls the art blogger talking to her about an overgrown holly bush that made it difficult for him to walk down the pavement.

“I mentioned that I knew of one too, that my daughter could not scooter through and we wondered if it was Camden’s duty to cut it or his neighbours. It was then that I realised we were talking about the same holly hedge on Priory Road.

“I felt that he had a great sense of community within Camden and the next time I passed I took some trimmers and was going to prune it back for both our benefits.”

She added: “We were very fortunate that he chose to visit the museum and the energy that he brought with him.

“He will be very much missed and my thoughts are with his family.”

Tim Sommer, an 18-year-old German national, is charged with attempted murder. He is in custody and due to appear at Blackfriars Crown Court in February, but police said the date is likely to change in light of Mr Hutchison’s death.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Friday, November 16, 2018

I live in the north west of London in the United Kingdom. Like the rest of the country, I have been looking on in bewilderment at the Brexit deal while politicians on both sides of the house vie for political supremacy. Divisions in government make for good news headlines but do nothing for the public’s confidence in its institutions.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Normally we celebrate one business of the week – but today we’ve got three!

Friday, November 16, 2018

A Routemaster bus will take 72 passengers on a journey through Greek Cypriot history, via Camden and Holloway, on Sunday.

Friday, November 16, 2018

The latest twist in the saga of a Hampstead landlord who refuses to pay a controversial levy saw him bring a top barrister to his court hearing.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Opponents of the 100 Avenue Road development suffered a major blow last night as Camden voted through a controversial plan that will funnel seven lorries a day through residential streets in Swiss Cottage.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The families left homeless by the fire that destroyed the upper floors of Willow House in East Finchley last week said Barnet Council treated them “like ants to be squashed” in the immediate aftermath of the fire.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Temple Fortune community was celebrating on Tuesday after Barnet’s Finchley and Golders Green planning committee unanimously rejected plans to build housing on the old Templars Tennis Club.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Tens of thousands of pounds, weapons and drugs were seized after searching a garage in the Peckwater Estate on Tuesday morning.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now