Man lived in his car on Fakenham car park for three months, inquest told

Norfolk coroner's court in Norwich. Photo: Denise Bradley.

Norfolk coroner's court in Norwich. Photo: Denise Bradley. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2012

A 49-year-old man had been living in his Land Rover Freelander on a public car park for about three months, after being evicted from a rented property, an inquest heard.

When Darryl Griffith's body was found in his car on the Highfield Road free car park in Fakenham at about 3pm on August 26, it was filled with various items including an electric lawn mower.

Yesterday's Norwich inquest heard that police were aware he was living in his car, as he was down on his luck, but he told them he would soon be back in work.

Police were later called due to concerns that he could not be roused in his car, and they broke a window to get into the vehicle. He was found dead on the backseat of the car.

The cause of death was given as lobar pneumonia and self-neglect. The inquest heard that the former labourer was extremely malnourished, with extreme muscle wastage and weight loss.

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The inquest heard that Mr Griffith was born in Bangor, Wales and was separated from his wife, although they remained married.

A GP report said that he had been known to Wells health centre for more than 20 years, but was not on any long-term medication. He was last seen by his doctor in December last year.

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In a statement read to the court, Beverley Taylor, a friend of Mr Griffith's estranged wife, said the couple had separated in about 2009. Mr Griffith had previously lived in Little Snoring and in Fakenham.

She said: 'I heard from his wife that the family was trying to contact him, as his mother was ill. Darryl was living and sleeping in his car, and was keeping a low profile because he owed people money.'

She agreed to help to find him and they left a note on his car urging him to contact his mother, and then another note was left in Welsh, after the first one had been put inside the car by Mr Griffith.

Assistant Norfolk coroner Yvonne Blake gave a narrative conclusion that, 'Mr Griffith was found deceased in his car in a public car park, where it appeared he had been living for some time'.

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