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Manchester death highlights dangers

September 08 2010
A tip worker has told how he found the body of rough sleeper in a waste crusher

A tip worker has told how he found the body of rough sleeper Stefan Tomkins, who died after being trapped and killed in a waste crusher in Manchester last year.

Mr Tomkins, 31, had been sleeping in a bin when it was emptied in the early hours of 25 November 2009. He suffered serious injuries when he was caught in the crusher, and his body was later found at the Birch waste site in Beswick.

Nigel Meadows, coroner at the inquest, said that he would be writing to Manchester Council, asking them to help raise awareness of the dangers of sleeping in waste bins. "It's a sad reflection in this day and age that someone can live a life like this then die on the streets of Manchester," he said.

Last October, Raymond Pickering, a rough sleeper in Nottingham, was crushed to death by a compacter in a waste disposal lorry, and this latest death once again highlights the dangers of sleeping in bins.

We encourage readers to not only avoid sleeping in bins, but also to warn others not to do so. The Pavement is now talking to the Environment Services Assocation, the trade body for waste management companies, about a possible campaign to reduce the number of deaths.