Tributes paid to Norwich man found dead in garden as police confirm death is not suspicious

Hansard Road sign

Hansard Road sign - Credit: Archant

Neighbours of a man who was found dead in the back garden of his home have spoken of their shock and paid tribute to 'a lovely bloke' who would be missed by them all.

The man's body was found at the rear of the property in Hansard Road, near Mile Cross Road, where he lived alone. It is not known how long the body had been there.

Police have confirmed they are not treating the death as suspicious.

Local residents had contacted officers after becoming concerned that they had not seen their neighbour for a couple of days, and officers found the body after calling at the property on Saturday afternoon.

The man – whose name has yet to be confirmed officially – is thought to have been in his 50s and neighbours said he had been suffering from diabetes.

The discovery of the body – on one of the coldest weekends of the year so far – has sent shockwaves through the local community. Neighbours have described him as a 'lovely bloke', who would be missed by them all.

June Foster, 69, who lives with her partner, Roger Coman, 58, contacted police after she had been unable to contact her neighbour on Friday and did not think he had returned home on Saturday tea-time to feed his dogs.

Most Read

She said: 'He was a lovely person who would do anything for you. He loved animals. We just all got on with him. He helped us out and did all the bins.

'We called him a rag and bone man. That's how he lived.'

Phyllis Hatwell, 85, a mother of four, grandmother of two and great grandmother of five, said: 'He was such a lovely, kind man. He used to come and see me every morning and ask if I was alright. It's unbelievable – he would've done anything for you, anything. It's awful.'

Sylvia Turner, 75, said the man was 'as good as gold' and would help people in the area with 'anything he could'. She said: 'It's just such a shock. I only saw him a couple of days ago. He will be missed around here.'

Chris Blyth, 50, a carer for people living in the area, said the death was a shock to everyone and insisted he would be 'sadly missed'.

Susan Mabley, 57, said: 'He was a good neighbour. He used to get a skip every two months and if anyone had any furniture they wanted to get rid of he would put it in there. He will be missed around here because he did a lot for all the old people.'

A post mortem examination is due to take place this afternoon to establish the cause of death and a file will be passed to the coroner in due course prior to the opening of an inquest.

Would you like to pay tribute to the man? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter