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Former colleagues ‘distraught’ as journalist dies aged 49

Stuart PrestidgeColleagues of a former regional press journalist who suffered years of mental health issues have been left ‘distraught’ after he died aged 49.

Stuart Prestidge, left, had worked for the Banbury Guardian, Shetland Times and Henley Standard over the course of the past few years.

A keen motorcyclist, he had most recently worked as a staff writer working for Motorcycle News, which he joined from the Standard in September last year.

His death comes after he struggled with mental health issues for a number of years, according to his family.


Former Guardian colleague Roseanne Edwards said: “I am absolutely distraught to be writing my friend’s obituary. Stu and I had the most amazing fun in the office until he left for the Shetland News and then the Henley Standard.

“He was extremely intelligent and could be very entertaining, very ascerbic – and with it incredibly funny.

“He did not suffer fools – gladly or otherwise – and anyone who thought Stu would not defend his written content or approach was very much mistaken.

“No day was the same in the newsroom – he worked hard at promoting Banbury and put everything into helping local organisations and businesses to succeed and make life better for everyone. There was never a dull day; we got on well and had so many laughs.”

Born in Cropredy, near Banbury, Stuart began his career in 1999 and worked for various titles in Texas, USA, where he lived with his wife Jen and daughter Adelai.

He was born with a congenital heart condition which proved to be a “massive financial challenge” in Texas.

His mother Jane Hilton told the Guardian: “After not being able to afford health care in the States due to his chronic heart condition, he came back to the UK and he and Jen got divorced.

She added: “He suffered with mental health issues for years – it has been tough.”

Stuart worked for the Guardian from 2016 to 2020, when he moved to work on Automotive Expo News.

He returned to the regional press in 2021 with the Lerwick-based Shetland Times, then spent four months in Henley between June and September last year.

A fundraising campaign has been set up to pay for Stuart’s funeral, which will be held at Banbury Crematorium at 3pm on Monday 25 September, following his death on Monday 4 September.

He is survived by daughter Adelai, mother Jane and stepfather Philip, father Des and stepmother Val and half-sister Letitia.