Second ‘homeless’ man found dead in -12C freeze as UK hit by snow and ice

A second man believed to be homeless has died after parts of the UK were gripped by freezing temperatures over the weekend.

Police were called to Bloom Street in Manchester city centre’s gay village on Sunday morning over concerns about the welfare of a man found in a shop doorway.

Officers and paramedics attended but he was declared dead at the scene, Greater Manchester Police said in a statement.

A spokesperson for the force said: “This investigation is in its very early stages and the cause of death is yet to be ascertained. Enquires are ongoing. Police are not treating the death of the man as suspicious nor is there believed to be any at third-party involvement. A report will be made for the coroner.”

On Friday another man, also thought to be homeless, died in Beeston, Nottinghamshire. Police were called to Dallas York Road at around 10:30am following reports that a man died suddenly.

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Snow in Glasgow as scattered weather warnings for snow and ice are in place across the UK (Lucinda Cameron/PA) (PA Wire)
Snow in Glasgow as scattered weather warnings for snow and ice are in place across the UK (Lucinda Cameron/PA) (PA Wire)

Officers were seen examining a car on the road and one resident said the person involved was homeless and died in the vehicle.

“People tried to get help for the poor guy in the past,” the resident told Mail Online.

“What an awful and tragic waste of a life. What is society coming to when a homeless person can freeze to death on a street in Britain?”

Matt Downie, chief executive of homeless charity Crisis, urged people living on the streets to seek help - particularly during the cold winter months  - and called on the government to build more social housing to end rough sleeping for good.

“No one should have to spend their last moments alone on the streets, in freezing conditions and without the protection of a secure home,” he told The Independent.

“Rough sleeping is incredibly dangerous at any time of the year, but as these tragic incidents show, in the winter months it is deadly.”

“Striking up a conversation with someone can also mean you are able to get their permission to contact Streetlink on their behalf, which will connect them to homelessness services in their local area.”

He added: “Although it’s absolutely right that emergency winter night accommodation is available during brutally cold weather, this is only a temporary measure, when what we really need is long-term solutions such as building the 90,000 social homes we need annually and providing specialist services.

“Until then, Crisis will continue to be there for anyone who needs us, including supporting nearly 600 people in London who would otherwise be sleeping rough over Christmas, to leave homelessness behind for good.”

The deaths came as swathes of the UK  battled with subzero temperatures, snow and ice.

The coldest temperature of the winter so far was recorded in the Scottish Highland region of Altnaharra overnight on Saturday, as the mercury plummeted to -12C.

Blyth beach in Northumberland blanketed was covered with snow on Sunday morning as was East Midlands Airport, where some flights were grounded due to the conditions.

People ride sledges besides the beach huts at Blyth in Northumberland (Owen Humphreys/PA) (PA Wire)
People ride sledges besides the beach huts at Blyth in Northumberland (Owen Humphreys/PA) (PA Wire)

On Monday morning drivers were warned they face “very treacherous icy conditions” in parts of the UK following another night of freezing temperatures.

A Met Office yellow weather warning for ice was in place across much of the north of England until noon, with further warnings for snow covering the eastern side of Scotland, high ground in Wales and the Peak District until the same time.

Overnight temperatures, which dipped to around or below freezing in many of the affected areas, were expected to cause icy patches on untreated surfaces due to thawed snow refreezing.

RAC Breakdown spokesperson Simon Williams said northern parts of the country could be facing an “ice rink Monday as snow refreezes overnight”.

He said: “We’re expecting some very treacherous icy conditions in northern parts, so those who have to drive should exercise great caution. If it’s possible to delay or even abandon journeys that may well be the best option.

“Those who decide to drive should leave extra space behind the vehicle in front, reduce their speeds to give plenty of time to stop.

“Before setting out, it’s important to allow more time to de-ice and de-mist vehicles thoroughly.”

The Met Office has also issued a yellow warning for heavy rain creating disruption to travel across parts of southern England, southeast Wales and into the Midlands which will last until 6pm.

The warning was extended on Monday west to include more of Devon and Somerset.