Death of Morecambe's well-known homeless man

A well-known homeless man who was a familiar figure in Morecambe's West End and town centre has died.

Friday, 21st April 2017, 3:24 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:58 pm
The squalid conditions homeless man Chad was living in in Morecambe's West End.

Lancaster City Council has confirmed that Chad, who for between eight and ten years had lived in the district, passed away in hospital.

In years gone by, Chad could be seen with his brown and white spaniel in Morecambe town centre and once his dog had to be rescued from a recycling clothing bin at Sainsbury’s after Chad had put the dog in there to shelter it from the elements.

Local businesses in the West End would often supply Chad with food, coffee and cigarettes, and he was given donations of clothes and equipment.

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Chad's trainers lie abandoned in the squat he called home. Picture: Michelle Blade.

One man who knew Chad said: “In this day and age I don’t know how anyone could be left like this. I’ve seen him injecting himself in his squat surrounded by human faeces and urine. I’m glad Martin (Chad) has died because he is not suffering any more.”

Helen Sharples of Vanilla Hair and Beauty on Albert Road said: “He used to come to us five or six times a day for coffees and cigarettes and used to sit on the step outside the salon.

“You could have a conversation with him, he had a cockney accent, but he still talked to his dog even though it wasn’t there.

“He didn’t give much information away about himself. It was how he wanted to live and he was well taken care of. He never begged or anything or asked anybody for anything. Some people were really nasty thinking bad of him but he wouldn’t hurt anybody. I haven’t seen him for two weeks.”

Chad's trainers lie abandoned in the squat he called home. Picture: Michelle Blade.

Tracy Kohl, from West End Impact said: “He has only been here about three times in ten years. He didn’t engage with any organisations and he shunned help. He had various ailments so I’m not sure how he died.”

Suzanne Lodge, Chief Officer (Health and Housing), said: “It is always with great sadness that we hear of the death of someone who was well known to members of our homeless outreach team for many many years.

“Chad was a widely known character in Morecambe and sleeping rough was something he chose to do. As such, Chad steadfastly refused any help from our homeless outreach team or any other statutory agency. He declined all offers of accommodation and access to health services.

“Our officers had been trying to locate Chad for more than a week and aware that his health was failing were becoming increasingly concerned as to his whereabouts.

“It was therefore with deep regret that we were to find out this week about his sudden death at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary last Tuesday evening having been taken ill in Morecambe and admitted to hospital under another name.

“Council officers and other agencies did everything they possibly could to assist him and having been known to many in the West End of Morecambe this is a very sad time for all those who knew him.”

The coroner has been made aware of the death but there will be no inquest.

Police said they had been notified of the death by the hospital on April 12.

Funeral arrangements or remembrance service arrangements have yet to be released.

Two crowdfunding pages have been set up to raise money for a plaque in Chad’s memory and to pay towards a bench with his name on it.