Coffin of homeless man killed in hailstorm to be carried through town in aid of rough sleepers


The coffin of a homeless man thought to have died in a freezing hail storm will be carried through a UK town to highlight the plight of rough sleepers.

Michael Gething’s funeral cortege will pass through Totnes, Devon, in January ahead of a street funeral in the town’s Civic Square.

Friends of the 41-year-old, who was found dead in his sleeping bag earlier this month, want to prick the conscience of the community, famed for its alternative scene.

The event’s organiser, Graham Walker, a Big Issue seller, said the town was “awash with cash” but not enough was being done to help the homeless.

He said: “We should look after our own in small communities – but there are no facilities.

“So they are forced to enter a lion’s den where they encounter hard drugs and alcohol.”

At least three people are said to have died on the streets in Totnes in the past year.

John Macadie runs the town’s Red Wizard Coffee Shop which is among those funding the funeral for Michael, who had been on the streets since he was 18.

He said: “Michael had been offered a flat in Dartmouth, but he said he only wanted to live in Totnes.

“He liked the town, loved the people, and held the police in a good light.”


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