An 11-year-old boy was shocked after discovering a dead body while he went to fetch a ball.

The schoolboy was playing near woods and allotments, off Vivian Road, in Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, when he found the body of a rough sleeper. 

He then immediately told his father and police who identified the body as that of Gary Tatton, of no fixed address. 

An inquest has failed to establish exactly how the 44-year-old died.

In a statement, a family spokesman said: “We all tried to help him out. He was a lovely person but he just got in with the wrong folk.

“He was very childlike and loving when he was with his family.”

The dad-of-four had moved to Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, in 2013. 

He lived in King Street before a fire left him without a permanent place to live.

His body was discovered at 1.48pm on October 2, 2022.

Detective Constable Gail Wright, of Staffordshire Police, said: “We received a call that an 11-year-old boy had found a body in the woods next to the allotments on Vivian Road, in Fenton. 

“He told his father, his dad investigated, and called us in.

“We arrived at the scene at 2.20pm and found the body of Gary lying on the grass in thick undergrowth. He was still wearing his clothing and had £125.40 in cash on him.

“There were no signs of a disturbance and no signs of a struggle or a fight. 

“We made some inquiries to the Department for Work & Pensions and the BP garage, on Sutherland Road, in Longton, where he used to go to.”

The cause of death has been recorded as unascertained. Recording an open conclusion, North Staffordshire assistant coroner Emma Serrano said: “My condolences to his family.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *