Body of man who lived in tent found in river

PUBLISHED: 14:35 24 August 2006 | UPDATED: 10:45 06 May 2010

POLICE have launched an investigation after the body of a Sandy man was found in the Great Ouse in Bedford. Homeless Robert Shaun Barton, 39, had been living in a tent for several weeks on land behind houses in Wesley Road. Mr Barton was well known in San

POLICE have launched an investigation after the body of a Sandy man was found in the Great Ouse in Bedford.

Homeless Robert Shaun Barton, 39, had been living in a tent for several weeks on land behind houses in Wesley Road.

Mr Barton was well known in Sandy and at the time of his death was unemployed. He was, say police, hoping to get accommodation in Sandy and had recently turned down a move to Bedford saying he wanted to stay in the Sandy area.

Sandy beat officer Pc Lee Prutton said he was aware of Mr Barton living in his tent and had spoken to him on several occasions to make sure he was well.

"He was a little eccentric and the tent was his temporary home. In the past he had lived in a house in Sandy and I believe he had been married. He wasn't being pestered by kids or anything like that. He was just living a very solitary life," said Pc Prutton.

"He had been living in a tent on the land behind the houses for about a month and had not been causing any problems.

"A week before he died I had gone to the tent and spoken to him and made sure he was OK and he had no problems.

"He seemed fine but obviously needed help and was looking forward to finding a new home but wanted to stay in Sandy which is where he came from, so he turned down a place in Bedford."

Police say Mr Barton's body was found in the Great Ouse on Wednesday last week and an investigation into his death is being carried out by officers in Sandy and Bedford.

An inquest was opened and adjourned last Thursday by the Bedford coroner. No cause for Mr Barton's death could be given at the moment.


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