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Film-maker 'freezes to death' while making documentary about homeless people

A film-maker has apparently frozen to death while making a documentary about sleeping rough on the streets of Newcastle.

According to Newcastle’s Evening Chronicle newspaper, Lee Halpin had embarked on a week-long project to document the homeless population in the city’s suburbs and raise awareness of their plight.


On Sunday the 27-year-old, who also ran the arts and culture publication Novel Magazine, posted a series a tweets asking his followers to donate a sleeping bag or an old mobile phone.


Mr Halpin did not post any more information about his project online, and on Wednesday his body was apparently discovered in a boarded up hostel on Westgate Road.


A Northumbria Police spokesman said it was believed no third party was involved in his death, adding: “Police were informed the body of a man believed to be in his 20s had been found in a derelict building in Westgate Road. A report will be prepared for the coroner.”


It is believed temperatures in Newcastle dropped as low as -4.2C on the evening of Tuesday April 2 and the early hours of April 3.


The Evening Chronicle quoted a friend of Mr Halpin’s as saying: “No one knows how he passed away, but we think it could have been hypothermia. He made the ultimate sacrifice trying to raise awareness about what was happening to other people.”


Daniel Lake, who says he had known Mr Halpin for over 10 years, reportedly added: “Lee was a great guy, a character and was well known. His big things were creative writing and poetry.“


A post mortem examination to establish the exact cause of Mr Halpin’s death is expected in the next week.

Independent News Service