His devastated partner, Amanda Allchurch, was being comforted at home in West Park Avenue, Ashton, Preston, by her son, who has flown back from Afghanistan. RAF communications expert Lee Cartmell, 22, who keeps pilots in contact with their bases in the warzone, jetted back just hours after the accident.
Today, the family paid tribute to the popular dad, who lost his life in an accident in the Langdale area of the Lakes on Sunday. Amanda said her partner of 15 years, known as ‘Cutty’, was a “loving family man”.
She said he had a passion for rock climbing and was with fellow members of the Preston Mountaineering Club, one of who took the final photograph of Steve, when the accident happened.
She said: “He was just a lovely person, always laughing and joking. He was always happiest when he was with his family and we cannot describe how much we are going to miss him. “Rock climbing was his life. He had done the Alps and was always up in the Lakes climbing; he had a real passion for it.” She said his employers at King’s Butchers in Broadway, Fulwood, had been besieged with tributes.
Stepson Lee, who thanked the RAF for their understanding, was home within 13 hours of hearing the news.
He said: “I got the message from my mum and within an hour-and-a-half of me talking to my commanding officer I was on a Hercules heading to Dubai.” From there, I was met by someone who took me from the airbase to the main airport and flew business class to London. It was unbelievable – me in my ragged boots and trackies surrounded by all these businessmen in suits.”
Mr Cutler’s daughter Amy, 17, lives at their home in Preston.
An inquest will open at Preston Coroner’s Court tomorrow. The family has requested any donations be made to Mountain Rescue.
Steve Cutler, who fell to his death shortly after this photo was taken.
Thanks to David Coates of the Lancashire Evening Post who brought this news to my attention.