A LAWYER and father-of-three, who was a key figure in the Oldham and Rochdale sex abuse scandals, has died at the age of 30.

Tributes have been paid to campaigning solicitor Steven Walker-Roberts, who was found dead at his home in Parkgate, Oldham, on May 1.

Mr Walker-Roberts was a specialist in a number of fields, and his occupation, as an inquest was opened into his death yesterday, was given as a computer engineer.

He has also lectured in cybersecurity at Manchester Metropolitan University, and according to his website he advised the Joint Committee on National Security Strategy.

But he became known more widely when, alongside wife Samantha, who was sexually abused by four men as a young girl, he lobbied on behalf of abuse victims, giving evidence at public inquiries into grooming and making representations to parliamentary committees as amendments were made to existing legislation.

An inquest at Rochdale heard evidence from police coroner’s officer Jane Scullion, who said Mr Walker-Roberts had sent his wife an email on May 1, which was described as a “goodbye email”.

The court heard the couple were separated at the time.

She went to the family home, found the front door unlocked, and discovered Mr Walker-Roberts’ body upstairs. Paramedics attended and he was pronounced dead at 11.24am.

An investigation has been undertaken by police and there were no suspicious circumstances, the inquest heard.

Adjourning the hearing until November 16, Coroner Catherine McKenna said she would be making enquiries as to whether Mr Walker-Roberts was known to mental health services.

His wife Samantha, in a message on Mr Walker-Roberts’ Facebook page, said his funeral would be taking place tomorrow, Friday. An online link is being provided to the service.

She added: “I can’t thank people enough for their support during this hard time.”

One of his sixth-form tutors, Amy Walker, said: “He was always such an enthusiastic person always wanting to debate some research he had found out about.

"There is definitely no one in this world like him.”

And Ruth Eckersley, a university friend, added: “I loved debating with Steven in uni and had many emails from him in my inbox as student rep suggesting changes that he was passionate about. What an untimely loss.”