A YOUNG father who died in his sleep will be immortalised in a new book written by his childhood friend.

Justin Brown, of Harwich Road, Mistley, died overnight on February 2.

The 45-year-old had been in the Royal Navy for 22 years but moved back home two years ago and become a dispensary pharmacist.

Johanna Aldridge, who had been friends with Justin since they met in the Manningtree Air Cadets, has included a family of ferrets in her new book as a tribute to Justin, his wife Tammy and 13-year-old son Aaron, who loved and cared for the animals.

The biomedical scientist from Jersey had originally aimed to publish her series to raise money for a dog sanctuary.

But since Justin’s death has now decided to give all the funds raised by the book to the British Heart Foundation in his memory.

She said: “I wanted to write something they could look back on.

“Justin rescued ferrets so there will be a family of ferrets inspired by his family, so that they can all be part of the series.”

The new book follows her first publication, a collection of short stories titled Tales from the Forest, which was published last year.

Justin’s mum Janet Brown, squadron commanding officer of the Manningtree Air Cadets, welcomed the new book.

She said: “When I found out about the book I thought ‘What a beautiful thing to do’.

“Justin loved ferrets, they used to take them from a rescue.

“Johanna and Justin met at the air cadets, they were very close friends and they stayed in touch.”

Janet said Justin died in his sleep due to two blood clots in the artery leading from his heart to his lungs.

She added: “He went to bed on the Friday night and his wife woke up and wondered why he wasn’t snoring and found him dead.

“It took everybody by surprise.

“We only just found out about Johanna’s book and with the money going to the British Heart Foundation, we thought it was lovely.”