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Acle man's abseil plunge horror

PUBLISHED: 08:57 11 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:54 03 July 2010

A 27-year-old man who was found dead in the grounds of a Norfolk church is believed to have been killed as he tried to abseil down its tower.

The man's body was found on a pathway at St Andrew's Church, North Burlingham, on Wednesday morning.

A 27-year-old man who was found dead in the grounds of a Norfolk church is believed to have been killed as he tried to abseil down its tower.

The man's body was found on a pathway at St Andrew's Church, North Burlingham, on Wednesday morning.

Yesterday, as locals spoke of their sadness at the man's death, police said he was from the Acle area and that detectives are not treating his death as suspicious.

The church was still sealed off and a floral tribute had been left outside which read “We all love you so much. Mum, Dad, Tracey, Cheryl, Robert and families XXX”.

The rector of St Andrew's Church the Rev Martin Greenland said: “It is a tragic thing that has happened. I do not want to speculate on what he was doing up there until the investigation is finished.”

Parish and district councillor for North Burlingham Shirley Peters said: “It is very, very sad news. I have never heard of anyone doing anything like this at the church before.

“You have to wonder what on earth he was doing up there?”

St Andrew's holds two services a month and has a regular congregation of about six. Ten years ago an appeal raised £57,000 to restore the tower, including new stone work.

Church warden Valerie Knights opened up the church for the police after a walker discovered the body on a church pathway.

She would not comment on the man's death except to say it was a sad incident.

The East of England Ambulance service said an air ambulance and two response vehicles were called out to St Andrew's Church at 9.50am on Wednesday but the man was already dead when they arrived.

Norfolk constabulary spokesman Jon Dack said: “We can confirm that the body of a 27-year-old male was discovered at a church in North Burlingham on Wednesday morning.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious and a post mortem examination will take place in due course.

“Formal identification has not yet taken place and further details of the deceased will not be released at this time.”

“Contrary to certain reports there is no evidence to suggest that the deceased was engaged in the theft of lead at the time of the incident.”

Any inquest into the man's death will be held in Norwich.


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