Rough sleeper dies on street
A HOMELESS man, who was one of the most well-known faces on the streets of Swindon, has died after sleeping rough in a town centre car park.
Kevin Dunne, who was nicknamed Codger, was a regular visitor to outreach services and hostels.
He had lived in the town for many years and various professionals, charities and agencies are understood to have tried to save him from his addiction to drink and drugs.
Swindon Coroners’ Office confirmed it had been notified of the 45-year-old’s death and said an inquest was likely to be opened and adjourned next week.
Angus Macpherson, who runs the Breakfast Club and Filling Station outreach services, said he was aware of the tragedy, but could shed no further light on what had happened.
Mr Dunne had been a regular at the Filling Station, a weekly soup run and outreach service in Carfax Street, often turning up with his sleeping bag and blankets.
A friend, who did not want to be named, said he had been sleeping rough for up to three nights at a car park in nearby Islington Street, near the Menzies Hotel.
“Codger’s got some good friends and he’s been in Swindon all his life,” he said.
“He was a brilliant character. He would smile first thing in the morning and would be laughing and joking. We still don’t know what happened but it sounds like life got the better of him.”
Mr Dunne was known to the police through his association with drug users and drinkers and to the council and other agencies, which run a panel to monitor rough sleepers.
He had used services run by homeless charity Threshold Housing Link. A spokeswoman said: “It’s extremely sad that homelessness and the associated issues which Codger faced finally took their toll, as street outreach workers were working with him until the very end.
“Our condolences go to his friends and family.”
A police spokesman said: “We received a call from a member of the public shortly after 9am on Saturday to reports of a male found deceased inside Fleming Way car park.
“This is not being treated as a suspicious death and a report has been prepared for the coroners’ office.”