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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Police still looking into death at hostel

By Phil Coleman

THE sudden death of a 33-year-old Carlisle man at a hostel for homeless men at John Street in the city remains unexplained, say police.

Police have named the man, whose body was found by staff at the hostel last Wednesday morning, as Mark Conrad Dean, who had been a resident for a couple of weeks.

North and west Cumbria coroner John Taylor opened and adjourned an inquest after the man who died was identified by a relative.

No cause of death has yet been confirmed.

A spokesman for Cumbria Constabulary said: “Police are treating the matter as an unexplained death, and inquiries are ongoing.”

The death is the latest in a series of tragedies at the hostel, whose clients are often vulnerable men who are at a low point in their lives.

A spokeswoman for Carlisle City Council, which runs the hostel, said: “We are obviously very distressed by the recent incident at John Street Hostel. Through our usual procedures we will investigate the circumstances and will co-operate fully with the police.

“We are also providing support to our staff and the other residents.

“The city council has a duty of care for all the residents of hostels and homelessness.

“All our staff are highly trained and have extensive experience of dealing with individuals who are very vulnerable.”

Mr Dean had been in the hostel for two weeks after being discharged from prison to no fixed address.

Among the other deaths at the hostel have been Ian Bragg, 53, who suffered a fatal shotgun wound to the head; Dennis McGarr, 54, who took a fatal overdose of antifreeze; and James Ruddy, 37, found hanged in his room. Resident Barrie Howe, 53, also took a fatal overdose at the hostel.

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