Police launch witness appeal over tragic death of 14-year-old Callum Garland outside Leeds school

Tributes at the scene of Callum Garland's death. Picture by rossparry.co.uk/ Harry Whitehead.
Tributes at the scene of Callum Garland's death. Picture by rossparry.co.uk/ Harry Whitehead.
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Police are trying to track a potential witness to the sudden death of 14-year-old Leeds schoolboy Callum Garland.

The teenager died after he climbed a tree on land off King Lane, opposite Allerton High School, in Alwoodley, on Thursday August 6 between 6pm and 6.30pm.

Police are investigating the circumstances of his death while the inquest remains adjourned and are keen to speak to one potential witness who approached a woman at the scene on August 7 some time after 5pm.

He was described as a white eastern European male with tanned skinned. He was aged about 40, slim, about 5ft 8ins tall, with short dark brown hair with the appearance of a grown out skinhead. He had a long oval-shaped face with stubble and was wearing a green jumper. He had a Polish accent but spoke English well.

Callum’s tragic death was met with widespread shock on social media as floral tributes accumulated at the scene last month.

West Yorkshire Police has said a post mortem exam “showed his death was as a result of asphyxiation consistent with hanging”.

Detective Inspector Dave Cowley, of Leeds District Safeguarding Unit, said: “We believe this man may have witnessed the circumstances surrounding Callum’s death and we are keen to trace him.

“The description is quite distinctive and we feel he will have a connection to the area which is mainly residential.

“We would urgently like to hear from this man himself or from anyone who thinks they know who he is.

“I would like to emphasise that we are solely interested in speaking to him as a potential witness as part of our investigation into the wider circumstances surrounding Callum’s death.”

The man was also seen to approach another man near to the scene. He was described as black, about 5ft 4ins tall, of large build and aged in his late 50s to early 60s. He had short curly hair and was wearing a thigh-length black coat with a zip up the front. Officers would also like to hear from that man.

Anyone with information on the two men seen at the scene is urged to call DC Mark Howorth of Leeds District Safeguarding Unit at Elland Road on 101.