If ever there was a man who lived for his community it was Bob Palmer.
From enjoying a beer with his mates to investing thousands of hours with his beloved Shortland Devils, the 54-year-old left an indelible mark on those who knew and loved him.
His alleged unprovoked stabbing murder while he was walking his daughter's dog on Saturday evening left the tight-knit western Newcastle community shaken to its core.
"I've known him since high school. I just wanted to bring him some flowers," Suzanne Woolfrey said after laying flowers at a memorial on the corner of Sandgate Road and Bardia Street on Sunday afternoon.
"He was very loved by everyone in Shortland."
Another school friend Gail Camps said she and many others were struggling to come to terms with Mr Palmer's death.
"Everyone is in shock, she said.
"He was just a lovely fellow. There was nothing he wouldn't do to help someone."
Even those who only knew him to say hello to recognised his warmth and generosity.
"I didn't know him that well but he always said hello when he saw me and had a smile. He was a true gentleman," Wendy Heys said.
Many of those who laid tributes were members of the Shortland Rugby league football club, a lifelong passion for Mr Palmer.
"Bobby was Shorty through and through, from playing for the club in his younger days, his service continued right up until this year where he regularly marked the lines at Tuxford Park, and was known to mow the field by push mower after the recent theft of the club ride on," a Facebook tribute from the Shortland Devils read.
They were sentiments shared by dozens of people who expressed their grief via social media.
"Heaven has gained an angel. He was a beautiful man and it is such a tragedy that he is gone too soon. Thinking of all Bobby's family, friends and the Shorty community today with great sadness," Cecelia Collier wrote.
Mr Palmer was looking forward to spending Chirstmas with his son and daughter.
He was walking his daughter's dog at about 8pm when he encountered 24-year-old Zack Mavin who had allegedly just attempted to rob the 7-11 service station on Sandgate Road with a knife and chemical agent.
Police allege he was attempting to rob the nearby Metro service station when he became involved in an altercation with Mr Palmer.
Mr Palmer, who was not known to Mavin, was allegedly stabbed in the abdomen and died at the scene.
Mavin was arrested after being tasered at his home on Sandgate Road shortly afterwards.
A Sunday bail court hearing heard Mavin had one prior conviction for entering enclosed lands.
Police opposed bail on the basis of Mavin's admissions following his arrest, CCTV footage and witness statements.
"There doesn't appear to be anything to explain his behaviour; it was entirely unprovoked," the police prosecutor said.
"A full-time custodial sentence is the only likely outcome."
A bail application that would have required Mavin to stay at his mother's house and report to police daily was rejected.
Mavin did not speak throughout the proceedings except to challenge the registrar who noted the attack had been unprovoked.
"It was not unprovoked," he replied.
The matter was adjourned to Newcastle court on Monday December 14.
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