Newcastle Film Maker Dies Sleeping Rough

5 April 2013, 17:24 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

Two men have been arrested in connection with the death of a young documentary maker who was sleeping rough in Newcastle as part of an investigation.

26 year old Lee Halpin had decided to spend the week living on the streets in his home city of Newcastle to experience what it was like to be homeless.

But just three days after embarking on his project on Sunday, he was found dead in a derelict building in the West End of the city.

Northumbria Police say they have now arrested two men, aged 26 and 30, on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug.

The police said the men have been bailed pending further inquiries.

Speaking on a YouTube video (below) the night before his week of sleeping rough began, Mr Halpin said the project was part of an application for an investigative journalism course to give an example of fearless reporting.

He said he had spoken to a homeless charity about the rise in the number of people on the streets and the possible repercussions of the bedroom tax.
"I'm about to go and spend a week being homeless in the West End of Newcastle.

I will sleep rough for a week, scrounge for my food, access the services that other homeless individuals use.

I will interact with as many homeless people as possible and immerse myself in that lifestyle as deeply as I can.''

He concluded the video by saying he hoped it showed his willingness to get to the heart of a story.

Lee's friend Daniel Lake told The Chronicle:
"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.''

A Northumbria Police spokesman said:
"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.''