The family of Josh Harling, who died following an incident in Thame last July, paid tribute following the sentencing of two men in connection with his death.
On 22 July 2020, Josh was cruelly taken from us by the acts of another. A darkness came over us that day and it has been that way ever since.
With seven gruelling months of unimaginable grief and pain, our lives have changed forever.
As a little boy, Josh was always happy and nothing ever fazed him, he took everything in his stride. Growing up his interest in the world around him grew stronger by the day.
From Monsters Inc. to Spiderman to Lord of the Rings and Captain Jack Sparrow, Josh brought love, light and adventure into every moment of every day. He never failed at making anyone smile. He loved to draw and was highly creative, each day we would have a new drawing laid out.
In his teenage years, Josh loved to do so many things. He skateboarded; he learned to play the guitar and played rugby.
Health and fitness became a strong passion of his alongside his fascination with space and science.
He had many friends and was loved and adored by everyone that met him.
We will forever miss our late night chats and debates about life on earth and beyond – climate change, world peace and everything in between.
Josh worked hard for his GCSEs at school and moved on to the City of Oxford College to start his AAT qualifications.
Josh really enjoyed college and formed many new friendships there. He passed his Level 2 AAT and he decided to look for a job in finance on the road to becoming an accountant.
When Josh secured his first job in finance, a whole new world opened for him. He was so proud of his achievements and was excited for his future.
At the age of 19, Josh had so many aspirations for his future, it seemed every week he had a new goal.
Josh passed his driving test first time on Christmas Eve and not long after bought his first car. His job in finance was everything to him. He always strived to be the best he could possibly be and had a constant thirst to learn more.
Josh had a love for writing music, ambitions in fitness instructing and a goal to become a model. Josh’s passion of helping others and supporting his family and friends were especially important to him.
Josh had this amazing ability to make those around him, both the older generations and the young, to feel welcomed and at ease with his infectious laugh, funny one-liners and his jokes.
He loved to talk and share his dreams with everyone. At his local gym, he would purposely go more often just so he could sit, chat and listen to the older gentlemen’s life stories.
Mental health awareness in young people was one of Josh’s main passions, as he knew first-hand the struggles young people faced. He really felt deeply about wanting to help make a difference.
With his work colleagues, Josh was planning to take part in the Moonwalk marathon for breast cancer, walking 26.2 miles during the night all around London wearing a decorated bra.
Josh was highly regarded at work by his colleagues and manager who will all miss him dearly.
We would really like to take this opportunity to thank Thames Valley Police for all their hard work in the weeks and months of this investigation.
We would also like to thank our family, friends and the Thame community for their love and support in what has been the most devastating and shocking time in our lives.
We all hold Josh in our memories and his love in our hearts forever. He is and always will be so sorely missed by his family, friends and all that knew him.