A ROUGH sleeper found dead in Malvern on Christmas Day had been offered 'extensive' help says a council's head of housing as tributes continue to pour in for him.

The death of the man, named locally as Joby Sparrey, has caused shock, anger and sadness among the people of the town. Flowers and messages have been left outside Brays in Worcester Road, Malvern near where his body was found while others have left tributes online.

It was the second death of a rough sleeper in the town in the last two months following that of Remigiusz Boczarski who had been living in a bus shelter in Wells Road. He is believed to have taken his own life aged 40 on October 31 last year.

Stephen Gabriel, head of housing and communities for Malvern Hills District Council, said of Mr Sparrey's death: “This is a tragic event particularly at this time of year. Our thoughts and prayers go out to friends and family of Mr Sparrey. Mr Sparrey was known to us and we offered extensive support including offering him temporary accommodation whilst longer term options were explored. We do not know the full circumstances of his death but we will conduct a full review.”

The identity of the man has not yet been confirmed to the Worcester News by police or the coroner yet friends and Malvern Hills District Council have all paid tribute to him by name.

Malvern MP Harriett Baldwin said: “I have been briefed on the death of a man in Malvern last week and I understand that the local authorities are looking into the circumstances surrounding this incident. It is not appropriate for me to comment on the specifics of this case at this time, but my thoughts are with his friends and family, and anyone who has been affected by this news.

“I know from my own casework that some people who live on the streets have complex needs and Government and local authorities must continue to work together to help some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

“Nationally the Government announced a cross-departmental £100 million strategy to focus on preventing people from becoming homeless earlier this month. Locally, Malvern Hills and Wychavon District Councils have developed their own plans to reduce homelessness including the appointment of a dedicated homelessness prevention officer, and a process to help those who need support in times of crisis including important advice on the council’s website.”

Nic Mcmillan wrote on our Facebook site: “Out of all the empty building in Malvern there has to be one that could be used/turned in to as a permanent shelter for the homeless. Life is getting financially harder for everyone the amount of people homeless is only going to rise. If there was a shelter in Malvern I would volunteer in the evenings and days when kids in nursery and I’m sure many more people would help, you never know when you might be that person that needs help. So sad.”

Chris Kyte wrote: “This is Malvern, a very wealthy town, what a sad state of affairs when we have people dying on our streets, how much longer do we as human beings keep accepting this government's austerity policies.”

Samantha Charles wrote: “I am absolutely shocked and appalled that another homeless guy has died in Malvern. I’m going to do all I can to help and to campaign to stop this happening again.”

Rachel Ann said: “RIP Joby, gone way too soon, beautiful guy, so sad.”

Tributes were also left on the Worcester News website. Rubalish wrote: “How very sad. R.I.P. Joby no now sorrow no more pain.”