Man whose body was found in River Nene in Northampton had been sleeping rough before his death

A 55-year-old man from Northampton whose body was found in the River Nene had been sleeping rough in the months before his death, an inquest heard.

Wednesday, 8th June 2016, 12:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th June 2016, 11:54 am
Mark Pettifer;s body was found in the River Nene on November 16

Mark Pettifer was evicted from private accommodation in the town in May last year after he failed to arrange for housing benefit to be paid.

A statement read to the inquest from Mr Pettifer’s ex-wife Alison Williams revealed he had made contact with the Hope Centre but had resorted to “sleeping outside in a sleeping bag by a hedge.”

Ms Williams said: “I kept asking him what he was going to do but he said he did not know.

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“I believe the council would have helped him if he had explained himself properly.”

Ms Williams said Mr Pettifer, who previously worked as a butcher, suffered from low self-esteem and could have a negative view of the world. But she said she did not believe he would have taken his own life.

Mr Pettifer’s body was found in the River Nene near the Avon headquarters in Nunn Mills Road by a man who was cutting trees near the river on November 16 last year. The last sighting of Mr Pettifer before that was June 28, 2015 and he was reported missing a month later.

The inquest heard a post-mortem revealed no signs of any injuries or disease and a pathologist was unable to establish an exact cause of death.

County coroner Anne Pember recorded an open verdict.