Sister of murdered Northampton man 'trying to turn a negative into a positive'

Chris Matthews
Chris Matthews

The sister of a man who was murdered in Northampton has organised a sleep-out in memory of her brother.

Father of three Chris Matthews was stabbed to death while he slept by Spencer Hobson in June 2018.

Although the pair were tenants at the same house in Victoria Gardens at the time, Chris spent many nights sleeping on the streets.

His sister, Fleur, is now using her brother's tragedy to improve the lives of other homeless people in Northampton by fundraising for Stan Robertson's Project 16:15, which provides hot breakfasts to the town's rough sleepers.

Fleur said: "After he died, I met some of the men who were sleeping rough with Chris and they have a pretty awful time.

"So this is about turning what happened to him into something positive.

"I have a JustGiving Page and someone left a quote on there that summed it up: whatever good or bad fortune may come our way, we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value."

Fleur, who is a nurse, hopes to raise £5,000 to buy Stan a tuk-tuk so he can increase the range of his deliveries.

She and her colleagues at Abington Park Surgery - including doctors and staff - will be sponsored to spend an entire night sleeping outside in the garden area of the surgery.

Fleur said that many view homelessness as a result of personal failings and poor choices but there are often lots of separate personal and social factors that contribute towards being homeless.

And each homeless person has their unique circumstances, just like Chris did.

Fleur said: "I've heard people says Chris's family didn't know he was living on the streets but that's not true. He chose the life he led.

"It was quite normal for us to lose proper contact with Chris for a couple of months where we'd not hear from him.

"Everyone offered help. He used to see my dad on the taxi rank almost every day and he'd give him what he needed.

"But sometimes when people have their demons to fight, they want to do it on their own.

"We were there for him, but sadly it was taken out of our hands."

If you want to give towards Fleur's appeal, click here.