Divorced dad-of-two's body found near Leeds church

Kenneth Howson
Kenneth Howson
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A HOMELESS pensioner's remains were found in a field where he lived in a tent near a Leeds church, an inquest at Wakefied heard.

The inquest was told 65-year-old Kenneth Howson had not been seen for several months before his decomposed remains were found at a makeshift camp on land at the junction of Cross Green Lane and Fewston Avenue at Cross Green, Leeds, on January 5 2018.

Home Office forensic pathologist Dr Michael Parsons told Wakefield Coroner's Court the remains were mostly skeletal and that a cause of death was unascertained.

the inquest heard Mr Howson had previously lived in Harrogate and had been a builder but had drink and drug problems.

Assistant Coroner Oliver Longstaff read a statement from Mary Brennan, a volunteer at St Hilda's Church on Cross Green Lane.

Ms Brennan said Mr Howson, also known as Christian, had been living in a tent on wasteland in the Cross Green area and in the church grounds.

The inquest heard she had last seen Mr Howson, a divorced father-of-two, early in the summer of 2017.

Police were alerted after Aroslaw Pelczarski came across the remains while walking through the field on January 5 2018.

Det Insp David McDougal of West Yorkshire Police said an investigation concluded there were no suspicious circumstances.

Det Insp McDougal said Mr Howson was a rough sleeper who had been unwilling to accept help to get accommodation and was in poor health.

Recording a verdict of death by natural causes, Mr Longstaff said: "It is more likely than not that Kenneth has died from natural causes."

A memorial service for was held at St Hilda’s Church on Cross Green Lane last April.

Father Darren Percival, Parish Priest of Cross Green and Richmond Hill, said at the time Mr Howson was "loved and cherished" by many.

Father Percival told the YEP: "I first met Christian (Kenneth) in May 2016, when I walked round the back of St Hilda’s.

"His trademark trilby was on his head he was sat under a tree.

"He introduced himself, and asked about me had I come to make trouble for him. I said no, I wanted to be his friend.

"He told me about sleeping rough in the city centre, from where folk spat and kicked you. Cross Green was his oasis."