TRIBUTES have been paid to a "highly respected" lawyer, whose sudden death has left members of Bradford's law community "stunned."

Bohdan Chalawka, 60, died after being hit by a train near Kildwick level crossing, between Keighley and Skipton, at around 7.50pm on Monday, October 8.

A former colleague for more than 35 years and friend since childhood has paid tribute to Mr Chalawka.

Phil Ainge, partner at Bradford law firm Lumb and Macgill, said his former colleague, known to many by his nickname Boge, was “at the top of his profession for more than 25 years”.

Mr Ainge said: “Boge was a popular figure in the law community. He retired in January 2017, and I worked with him since 1981, but I knew him before that from our school days at Belle Vue Boys School in the 1970s.

“He was highly respected in the legal community, and had a good reputation among the judges, many of whom have rang and expressed their sympathies.

“For 25 years he was at the top of his profession as a crown court clerk, and he effectively set the benchmark for crown court preparation in Bradford in that period of time.

“We were very lucky to have him, and I cannot speak too highly of him.

“He was a very well-liked member of our family at Lumb and Macgill, and you would struggle to find anyone who would say anything negative about him. He was a first class lawyer, and we were all stunned when it happened.”

Mr Ainge joked there was one thing that never sat well with him about his friend.

“One thing that never went down well with us was that he was a Manchester United fan!

“That never sat well with me being a Leeds United fan.

“I remember once I took him to Elland Road and he had to pretend to be a Leeds fan, if anyone had found out he was a Man United fan he would have probably got a flogging!”

Away from law, Mr Ainge said Boge “had many sides to him”, and was a keen music fan and was also very interested in astronomy and science.

As a student, Boge studied Russian at the University of Birmingham, before moving into law after graduating.

Mr Chalawka’s funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.

Britsh Transport Police said Mr Chalawka’s death is not being treated as suspicious.

North Yorkshire Coroner’s Office confirmed Mr Chalawka’s identity, and that an investigation into his death has begun.