Newcastle Film Maker Died Of Natural Causes
12 December 2013, 17:00
A coroner's ruled a 26-year-old film-maker from Newcastle who was sleeping rough for a project on homelessness died from natural causes.
Lee Halpin's unresponsive body was found by a homeless man he had befriended in a derelict house in the West End of the city, where they had slept during a bitterly cold spell in April.
Mr Halpin was making a film on life on the streets and planned to sleep rough for a week.
An inquest in Newcastle found he died as a result of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome after a pathologist ruled out other causes.
Coroner Karen Dilks concluded that Mr Halpin, who was hoping to win an internship with Channel 4 as an investigative journalist, died from natural causes.
The day before he started making his rough-sleeping film, Mr Halpin recorded a poignant message as part of his application to Channel 4, and posted it on YouTube.
You can see the video below.
The inquest at Newcastle Civic Centre heard that Mr Halpin spent one night sleeping near a city centre roundabout, and was then invited by a homeless man called Daniel McEwan to spend the next night in a derelict property in Westgate Road.
The next morning, Mr McEwan found he was cold and unresponsive and raised the alarm.