Ipswich: Street drinker was failed by community - bishop

IPSWICH: A bishop has today called on the community to show compassion towards a street drinker after leading tributes during the funeral of Martin Edwards.

THE body of Martin Edwards, found at a flat in Pipers Court, Old Foundary Road, on Christmas Day was finally laid to rest in a service at Ipswich Crematorium on Tuesday.

The right reverend Charles Mugleston, who led the service, said: “I apologised on behalf of the community for letting him down. We have got to show that we’re a caring community.

“The free will of the person is entirely their own, but you also have to try and look out for each other and try and help each other.

“The whole occasion was conducted with great dignity. I was very touched by the way that the borough council organised the service.”

Brothers Tim and Gary Edwards were at the service along with Ipswich Borough Council bereavement officer Mike Grimwood.

Mr Edwards, who grew up in Redhill, Surrey, was a known street drinker and died as a result of multiple injuries.

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Revd Mugleston told mourners: “Martin’s loss – his hurt – are our loss and our hurt.

“Tim and Gary have prematurely lost their younger brother, and the local community including [Martin’s friend] Simon Dade have lost a good friend.

“Although Martin had his problems and was far from perfect, he did not deserve to pass the way he did.”

He added: “He has been described as a genuinely lovely person who would help you if he could. If you didn’t have enough money for something, then he would give you what he could.

“Martin has also been described as being of a very gentle and peaceful nature.”

Three men – Hugh Hegarty, 51, of Limerick Close, Ipswich, Christopher Page, 37, and Timothy Bailey, 28, both of no fixed address – are due to stand trial for his murder at Ipswich Crown Court in September.

A woman, aged 36, has been arrested in connection with the incident and released on police bail.

n Would you like to add your tribute to Mr Edwards? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.