Rough sleeper found dead in "wealthy" UK town on Christmas Day

A rough sleeper was found dead on the street in a "wealthy" UK town on Christmas Day, it has emerged.

"Real gent" Joby Sparrey was discovered near a clothing shop in Malvern, Worcestershire, on December 25.

Malvern Hills District Council (MHDC) said Joby was known to its services and had been offered "extensive support".

Its head of housing added that although the full circumstances of his death are unknown, a "full review" will be carried out.

Tributes have been pouring in for Joby, who has been described as a "beautiful guy" who was always pleasant.

One shocked woman wrote on Facebook: "This is so sad. He was a real gent when I spoke to him a couple of days before xmas.

"This shouldn’t have happened."

Another user posted: "R. I. P Joby, mum said you was always a nice bloke. Bless you and your Family at this sad time."

A third said: "Feeling so so sad – RIP Joby – this should not have happened to you! Hope you are resting in the Lord’s loving arms & are now at peace. Wish I could have done so much more for you….x."

And a fourth added: "R.I.P Joby Lad, sad news indeed."

Joby, who has been named locally, was discovered dead near the store Brays in Worcester Road, the Malvern Gazette reports.

Stephen Gabriel, head of housing and communities for MHDC, said: “This is a tragic event particularly at this time of year. Our thoughts and prayers go out to friends and family of Mr Sparrey.

"Mr Sparrey was known to us and we offered extensive support including offering him temporary accommodation whilst longer term options were explored. We do not know the full circumstances of his death but we will conduct a full review."

West Mercia Police said the man’s death was not being treated as suspicious, and it had been referred to the local coroner.

Joby is thought to have been a father aged in his 40s.

His body was reportedly found by a member of the public close to Brays, which was not open at the time.

Homelessness campaigner Hugo Sugg said in a statement: "“On behalf of the campaign and its staff, volunteers and followers, I am deeply saddened to hear reports of another death on the streets of Malvern on Christmas Day.

“At a time when homelessness is at the forefront of people’s minds because of the season, it is very concerning that another death has happened.

"This is the third recorded open-air death of a homeless person since April 2016 and the second one in Malvern in two months."

Commenting on the Gazette’s Facebook page, local Chris Kyte wrote: “This is Malvern, a very wealthy town, what a sad state of affairs when we have people dying on our streets."

Meanwhile, a man called Wayne posted: "People should not be dying on the streets in 2018/19 and especially in somewhere as affluent at Malvern."

Floral tributes have been left outside Brays following the tragedy.

Stewart Stone, the store’s managing director, told the BBC: "It is very sad for anything like this to happen."

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