Hereford & Worcester

Calls for review over rough sleeper death in Malvern

Brays, Malvern Image copyright Google Maps
Image caption Mr Sparrey was found near a clothing shop on Christmas Day

A rough sleeper whose body was found on a street on Christmas Day died as a result of drugs use, a coroner has ruled.

Paul Anthony Sparrey, known as Joby, was found dead near the clothing shop Brays, on Worcester Road, Malvern.

An inquest in Worcester heard he died as a result of cocaine use, although he also suffered from a heart condition.

A homelessness campaigner has called for an immediate county-wide review of support services.

Mr Sparrey is understood to have been the second rough sleeper to die in Malvern in a two-month period.

Malvern District Council referred both deaths to the Adult Safeguarding Review team at Worcestershire County Council.

Derek Benson, chair of the board, said it was in the process of appointing an independent author for a report.

Image caption Floral tributes were left on the street where Mr Sparrey's body was found

Stephen Gabriel, from Malvern Hills District Council, said the authority sent condolences to Mr Sparrey's family and friends and was working to improve its response to rough sleeping.

"What the coroner's verdict highlights is the complex needs of the rough sleepers we come into contact with on a daily basis and supporting them is not as simple or straightforward as may first appear."

Following Wednesday's proceedings, campaigner Hugo Sugg, who launched Justice for Cardon after the death of rough sleeper Cardon Banfield in Worcester in 2016, said he was "saddened".

He said until the review by Worcestershire County Council was complete, it was not certain what support was available to Mr Sparrey.

"The campaign would like to see an immediate Worcestershire-wide review of support services to help drug users who present as homeless in Worcestershire, to stop this from happening again."

Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites