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Detectives reopen investigation into death of Harrogate man

Police in North Yorkshire have reopened the case into the death of a man at a homeless hostel in 2007.

Credit: North Yorkshire Police

Robert Pride-McLeod, 49, was found dead in a cellar at the homeless hostel on Robert Street, Harrogate, on 21 January 2007.

He was made homeless on Friday 12 January 2007 and was given a room on the first floor of the hostel.

He was ill at the time and needed a Zimmer frame to get around. He only weighed five stone.

The following Monday morning Robert's room was checked and he wasn't there. Despite police appeals for information, nobody has ever come forward to say they saw Robert since he was helped to his room by a security guard when he arrived at the hostel.

He was found dead later that week.

The coroner recorded an open verdict at the inquest into Robert's death, however a post-mortem examination revealed that Robert had a head injury and the police believe that he was assaulted prior to his death.

Three people were arrested during the initial investigation and released without charge.

Officers from North Yorkshire Police's Major Crime Unit are now reviewing the case and are appealing for people with information to come forward.

It is more than eight years since Robert was found dead in a cellar in Harrogate and we still don't know exactly what happened to him. From the evidence obtained during the initial investigation in 2007 it is believed that Robert was assaulted after he was taken in at the hostel. However, despite that investigation there are still a number of unanswered questions. Who assaulted Robert? How did he come to be in the cellar? Did someone put him there?

– Detective Inspector Mark Pearson

Robert had changed his name around five years prior to his death. His sister, Christine, who lives in America and knows him by his previous name, Timothy, has released the following statement: "Timothy did not deserve to die in such sad and lonely circumstances and deserves justice.

"I would like to take the opportunity to ask the people of Harrogate to help the police find out what happened to Timothy in that hostel and how he came to end his days in the cellar."

Harrogate cyclist fights back after serious crash

A cyclist from Harrogate who was nearly killed when an HGV knocked him off his bike in January, is getting back in the saddle just months after the accident.

Kevin Smith, 58, suffered a head injury so severe that he briefly died in the ambulance on his way to hospital.

Next month he'll be raising money for charity on an exercise bike as part of Harrogate's "Big Bike Bash".


Train services disrupted between Leeds and York

A broken down train at Harrogate is causing delays of up to 20 minutes to trains between Leeds and York.

There is no firm estimate yet of how long disruption will last but it is likely to continue until at least 09:30, according to National Rail.

Attempt to entice three girls into van in Harrogate

North Yorkshire Police have launched an investigation after two men tried to entice three young girls into a van in Harrogate.

Police received a report at 6pm yesterday (Monday 11 May) that two men in a van had approached the three young, aged 14, 10 and 9, on St Andrews Road in Harrogate.

The van is described as a large dark blue van, and then men are described as of muscly build.

A similar incident in Knaresborough was reported to police on Sunday evening, circumstances of which are being investigated.

We acknowledge that this incident will cause concern amongst the local community.

We would like to reassure people we are conducting a full investigation and while enquiries are ongoing, the local safer neighbourhood team will be conducting reassurance patrols in the area of St Andrews Road. We ask people not to comment on social media as we are still trying to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident.

– Detective Sergeant Alex Jackson of Harrogate Serious Crime Team

Anyone who thinks they may have seen the van, or anything suspicious in the area around the time of the incident, is asked to call the police.

Result: Conservatives hold Harrogate and Knaresborough

Conservative Andrew Jones has retained his seat in Harrogate and Knaresborough.

  • Andrew Jones (The Conservative Party) – 28,153 votes
  • Helen Flynn (Liberal Democrats) – 11,782 votes
  • David Simister ( UK Independence Party [UKIP]) – 5,681
  • Jan Williams (Labour Party) – 5,409
  • Shan Oakes (Green Party) – 2,351


Counting continues in Skipton and Harrogate

Counting is well underway in Skipton and Harrogate with declarations expected in the early hours of the morning.

Counting in Harrogate

The estimated declaration time for both Skipton and Ripon and Harrogate and Knaresborough is 03:00.

Click here for a full list of declaration times.

Counting in Skipton

Suspended sentence after inflatable slide injures four

A man who operated an inflatable slide which blew away and injured four people - including two children - was handed a suspended jail sentence today.

Victor Lusher from Harrogate was given a twenty six week sentence suspended for a year for breaching health and safety laws.

The court heard how the slide should not have been in use at a car boot sale at Ripley because it was damaged.

Lusher said tonight he was sorry for what had happened - but maintained outside court that the slide was securely fastened down.

Four men arrested after police discover cannabis factory in Knaresborough

Four men have been arrested after police found a cannabis factory in a disused car showroom in Knaresborough.

The operation was discovered on Tuesday 28 April 2015, when a local officer became suspicious about the site and went to investigate.

More than 100 plants were found on the lower floor of S&R Motors, on Harrogate Road, Ferrensby, along with equipment commonly used in the production of cannabis.

A 36-year-old man from Leeds was arrested at the scene on suspicion of cultivation of cannabis.

Two other men, aged 24 and 30, were arrested in Plompton a short time later.

All three men have been released on police bail to allow for further enquiries.

Following police enquiries, a fourth man was arrested in connection with the incident in Harrogate on Wednesday 29 April 2015. He remains in police custody for questioning.

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