Matthew Symonds released from prison one week before grim discovery
12:16pm Sunday 3rd August 2014 in By Beren Cross, @BerenCross
MATTHEW Symonds was found dead in an Avonmouth waste unit just one week after being released from prison.
The 34-year-old former Headlands School pupil was from Swindon, but had no fixed address following his release.
In the last Facebook status update before his death, Mr Symonds, on Friday, July 25, said he had left prison the day before, after serving four months of an eight-month sentence.
“Got out of HMP on Thursday after getting eight months and fone [sic] half four months,” he said.
Before his incarceration, Mr Symonds had been living at Booth House in Spring Close, a 50-bed resettlement centre for homeless adults run by the Salvation Army, since February 24.
In the days leading up to his 34th birthday on March 21 this year, Mr Symonds reflected upon his mother, whom he lost last September.
On March 19, he posted: “Dreading Friday, as it [is] my 34th birthday and it will be weird without my mum there to celebrate it. I miss you so much, mum.”
On March 17, he said: “Dreading my 34th birthday on Friday, March 21. It will be my first birthday without my mum to celebrate it with me, and that will hurt me [on] Friday.
“Can’t sleep tonight, I don’t know why. I just want to be happy.”
His mother, Madeleine Leadbeater, had passed away on September 9 last year, two days after he was released from another stint behind bars. He promised to look after her favourite cat Blackie.
In a later status update he said a coroner had found his mother had died from natural causes at the age of 49.
Mr Symonds’s death continues to be described as unexplained by police detectives, who are waiting on results from a post-mortem, which may not be released for several weeks.
Avon & Somerset Police were called to the Biffa depot in St Andrew’s Road, Avonmouth, at 11.30am on Friday after staff were concerned at what they thought were human remains in one of their units.
A task force made up of Avon & Somerset and Wiltshire Police has now been co-ordinated after it became clear the body had been transported from Swindon.
There is no current appeal for witnesses.