The family of a "gentle soul" who was murdered in a care home have paid tribute to his "kind and understanding" nature.

Harry Hennessy, 60, died at Longcroft care home, Swan Lane, in Wickford, on Thursday, July 2.

In a statement, his siblings celebrated his happy life at the home.

They said: “As family, we need to express who our brother Harry was – and still is within our hearts: he was a gentle soul who had a difficult life due to his illness associated with mental health.

“He knew he was not blessed with the same abilities as others, but he worked hard to be accepted into society.

"He made sure to treat everyone as they should be treated - with kindness and understanding.

"He had so much love and compassion to give to those he knew."

In the heartfelt tribute to their lost brother, the family said Harry had been taken away "too soon."

“His last three years at Longcroft were the best of his life," they said.

"He was cared for by their wonderful team, who worked extremely hard to gain his trust and to allow Harry to become the person he really was meant to be.

"All without prejudice or fear, just patience and love.

“In Harry’s life, we have one regret - that Harry was not living at Longcroft years ago, because what they achieved with Harry was to give him a fulfilling life, a wonderful home and love. It is with great sadness that this was taken away too soon.”

Jay Turner, 43, of Swan Lane in Wickford appeared in court this weekend charged with Harry’s murder.

READ MORE: Man charged with murder after care home death.

He will next appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on Tuesday, July 7.

Essex Police await the results of further post-mortem results to determine the exact cause of Harry’s death.