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(B.Post) Man found decapitated in disused factory in Bristol

Friday 16 September 2016

By Michael Yong

A family will never know how a "gentle but troubled" father died, after he was found decapitated in a derelict building in Bristol. Karl Simeon Benjamin Faulkner was found dead on March 26, around eight months after he went missing in July last year. But police officers and the doctors are left unsure how he died, because his body was badly decomposed - and his head was found in another room at the disused factory and laundry in St Werburgh's. He had to be identified by DNA.

Security officers were patrolling the former Brooks Dye Works site in Sevier Street, when they found his body. Avon Coroners Court heard at his inquest today that Mr Faulkner – known as Simeon by those close to him – was suffering from mental health problems and had tried to commit suicide and self-harm on several occasions. In his statement to the court, Mr Faulkner's GP said his patient had contracted Hepatitis C in 2007 and started suffering hallucinations in 2012, and was diagnosed with a personality disorder later. He also struggled with drugs use and had been in and out of prison since he was a teenager. The court heard Kerry Britton was working at the site on March 26 when she heard some noises. She had been on patrol around 10am and decided to investigate. The site, which has many empty buildings, is used as a squat by homeless people. Ms Britton could not find anyone and decided to come back later. During her second patrol with her colleague Andrew Woodbury, they noticed one of the doors had a hole in it. Ms Britton thought someone might be hiding in there, but found Mr Faulkner's body when she went in. In her witness statement to court, she said the body had no head and the upper body was in a bad state of decomposition, although his lower body seemed intact. The head was found in the next room. The security guards left the building and called the police.

PC Daniel Godfrey told the court in a statement that Mr Faulkner had grown up moving between Ireland and England. He had spent time in prison and was a drug user, especially heroin. Mr Faulkner lived with his mother and had also been homeless and lived in a hostel. The officer said Mr Faulkner had become "emotionally unstable" and when released from prison in July last year had attempted to take his own life. He was not allowed to stay with his family – including his mum and sister – after advice to the authorities from the mental health team. The 31-year-old met his mum in Old Market in July last year, and told her he was planning to kill himself. He said he had left a suicide note at Bristol Drugs Project for her – a note neither staff nor officers could find. Days after the meeting, he was reported missing and police could not find him. By the time his body was found, it had badly decomposed. Drug paraphernalia was found around Mr Faulkner's body. Mr Godfrey said he believed Mr Faulkner had attempted suicide and did not want to be found easily. He added there was no evidence to show that any other person was involved and the inquest heard there were no apparent serious injuries. In her statement to court, Mr Faulkner's sister Sonya said they had lost the "heart and soul" of the family. Mr Faulkner had suffered from ADHD as a child and was dyslexic growing up. He started coming in and out of prison from a young age and had started using drugs, including heroin and legal high spice. When the mental health team suggested Mr Faulkner be kept away from the family, they protested, saying he would never hurt the children. They also said they felt he did not receive any help from mental health services.

In her conclusion, assistant coroner Myfanwy Buckeridge said she was unable to determine the cause of death and recorded an open verdict.


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