Dog walker’s shock at finding body on beach

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A WOMAN has spoken of her shock after discovering a body on the beach at Southsea.

Gemma Clifton was taking her dog Jimmy, a West Highland terrier, for an early-morning walk on Wednesday when she glimpsed something pink near the shoreline.

Gemma Clifton  with her West Highland Terrier Jimmy '' ''Picture: Sarah Standing (14259-7440)

Gemma Clifton with her West Highland Terrier Jimmy '' ''Picture: Sarah Standing (14259-7440)

As it was 5.40am the light was bad, so the 23-year old could not make out what the object was and assumed it was a mannequin as she had seen furniture fly-tipped further down the beach.

To her horror, when she got to work later that morning, her colleagues told her that a 
body had been washed up on the beach.

Mrs Clifton said: ‘It startled me, I wasn’t expecting it. The promenade is lit up but the beach is pitch black.

‘My dog was behind me and a fox was following us so I turned around, that’s when I glimpsed something pink.’

The man’s body was discovered at 7.15am, as it became light, by a dog walker near to Canoe Lake and the burger hut near South Parade Pier.

Mrs Clifton, who lives in Southsea, said she was spooked by what she had seen and wanted to tell someone. She has since given the police a description.

‘Usually there’s other people walking their dogs, but there was no-one,’ she said. ‘I was hoping someone would come along. I was scared.’

Police have released further details to encourage more witnesses to come forward.

They are particularly keen to speak to anyone who may have found a pile of clothes nearby, as the man was found naked.

He was white, 6ft to 6ft 5in tall, 30 to 50 years old, well nourished, with short dark hair.

The circumstances of the man’s death are unexplained and a post mortem will be carried out on Saturday.

Detective inspector Jeff Huggett said: ‘We are conducting a number of enquiries to establish the man’s identity and how he died.

‘We would ask members of the public to contact us if they have any information which could help us identify this man.

‘We would also be keen to speak to anyone who has seen a pile of clothes or a bag abandoned, as these may belong to the man.’

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting Operation Palmaria.