An inquest has been heard into the death of a “lonely and isolated” Mablethorpe man who was found dead in a barn at Bardney in spring this year.
Social worker Gretta Barlow revealed that she had attended 57-year-old Christopher Dickinson’s hearing last Wednesday not out of duty but because he had no next of kin.
Ms Barlow explained: “Chris had been fostered as a child and had no family. Without wishing to be melodramatic, I felt he deserved to be represented and remembered kindly on this last day in his legal life.”
In response, the assistant coroner for Central Lincolnshire, Paul Smith, said: “I appreciate your presence and express my condolences.”
The inquest at Spilsby heard appeals had been put out via the media after he went missing from his bungalow in Trenchard Road, Mablethorpe, in January. On May 19, his body was discovered by farmer Ken Deighton behind a caravan in a barn at Causeway Farm off the B1190 road. The body was in a so decomposed and skeletal a state that the cause of death was “unascertainable”.
Identification was by means of DNA samples and bank cards found in a wallet at the scene. Evidence was provided, in the form of written statements, from Dr Syed Raza, his GP at the Marisco Medical Practice and from consultant psychiatrist Dr Zafar. The inquest heard that, following the death of his wife Janet in 2011, he struggled to cope, neglected himself and fell into £4,000 of debt.
According to Ms Barlow, his care worker, he felt “lonely and isolated”. It did not help he had learning difficulties plus a speech impairment. In his summing up, the assistant coroner noted that living rough had “exposed Mr Dickinson to the elements and would have impacted greatly on his health”. He recorded an open verdict.