Death of Hayling Island beach man not foul play, say police

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THE death of a man whose body was found washed up on a beach is not being treated as suspicious.

Detectives have still not identified the man – aged in his 50s or 60s – whose decomposed body was found by a member of the public on Hayling Island beach, near the junction of Southwood Road and Bosmere Road, Eastoke.

It is believed the body may have been in the sea for up to a week before being found shortly before 9am on New Year’s Day.

Hampshire police’s major investigation team are now looking into the possibility the man’s body could have travelled hundreds of miles before being discovered.

Officers have widened their inquiries to include the coastline around Sussex, Kent, Devon and Cornwall, Wales and Dorset.

But a post mortem has ruled out foul play.

Detective Inspector Scott Clarke said: ‘Although we are yet to formally identify the deceased, following a post mortem examination, we have ruled out any suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

‘Once the man has been identified, we will pass a file to the coroner so a full inquest can take place.’

Police are appealing with any information that could help identify the man to come forward.

The body is that of a white man, 6ft 5in tall and of a stocky build, with crew-cut receding grey hair and a set of dentures in the upper right side of his mouth.

He wore a black shirt, a black plastic Casio digital watch, brown Chelsea-style boots in a size 44 and Easy-brand jeans.

It is hoped the man’s distinctive tattoos will help identify him.

They are of a skull and crossbones on his right upper arm, a dagger through a heart with scrolls on the top and bottom and the words ‘mum & dad’ on his lower right arm. There is a tattoo of an eagle’s head with a scroll and the word ‘Eric’ and a skull wearing a native American headdress.

On his right forearm there is a bird tattoo and on the upper part of his left arm a tattoo of the Welsh feathers with the words ‘Forever Wales’. On his lower left arm there is a black panther, skull, horns and a face. Call police on 101.