Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

current issue

June – July 2024 : Reflections READ ONLINE


Body found in tent identified

September 16 2011
 Clare Bromley’s death was “not suspicious”


The body of a rough sleeper found in Staffordshire parkland has been identified as Clare Bromley, 40, from Leek. Ms Bromley’s body was found by a member of the public in a tent in Festival Park, Stoke-on-Trent, at the beginning of July. The circumstances of her discovery lead to a police investigation into her identity and cause of death, which has now been declared “not suspicious.” It is believed that Ms Bromley died of a liver disorder, caused by alcoholism.

Ms Bromley’s partner, Stephen Armstrong, told local reporters of his distress. “I am very upset she’s died because I loved her. Yes, she had a temper, but she had a heart of gold. I’m going to miss her terribly. I don’t think I will start courting again.”

“I thought it would be me who went first. We’d both been heavy drinkers since being teenagers - and it had been me who had first started to go yellow.”

Stephen said that he met Clare in the A&E department at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire. He added: “She was having her leg stitched because she used to be a self-harmer, and I was there because I had been having chest pains from too much alcohol.”

Ms Bromley was well known to locals in Leek, where she often slept rough in the porch of a church. Local historian Bill Cawley said he had frequently seen Clare near the town’s war memorial. “Her life seemed to be a cheerless one with a broken childhood, addiction to alcohol and the depressing carousel of regular court appearances, eviction, homelessness and begging,” he said.

“I am sure that the authorities, the police, Salvation Army and others did their best, but it is likely she was unable to change her situation.”