Photographer found dead at Chichester caravan park ‘had electricity turned off three months before’, inquest told

Richard Taylor's body was found 'badly decomposed' in his caravan on September 2017 at Lakeside Holiday Park
Richard Taylor's body was found 'badly decomposed' in his caravan on September 2017 at Lakeside Holiday Park

A man found dead in a holiday park caravan had his electricity turned off three months before, an inquest heard today.

Richard Taylor, 60, of caravan 34, Goodwood Drive, Lakeside Holiday Park, was found on September 20, having been dead for some time.

An open verdict was recorded by senior coroner for West Sussex, Penelope Schofield, at a documentary inquest in Crawley today (Friday, January 26) after a post mortem examination could not ascertain a cause of death.

A statement read out by the coroner’s officer stated: “The electricity bill for the caravan wasn’t paid, causing the electric to be disconnected in June 2017.

“Concerns were raised by the family of Mr Taylor that no checks were made on his welfare.

“As this was a holiday park, owners were not allowed to live in the caravans permanently so an outstanding bill would have been sent to the owner’s permanent recorded address, with the park assuming the owner may be away from the caravan.”

The inquest heard Mr Taylor was known to drink regularly and had started living at the park in October 2016 after being homeless for a short time.

Staff at the park would give him food and the last known time he was spoken to was in April 2017, when he complained to an ex-partner about a chest infection, the coroner’s officer said.

A professional photographer, Mr Taylor worked in the journalism industry throughout his life but had a ‘spiral’ in his drinking after his mother died in 2016, the inquest heard.

Police confirmed his death after a call from one of his neighbours, who had not seen him in a month.

Staff attended and found him in a state of ‘advanced decomposition’, the inquest heard.

Lakeside, in Vinnetrow Road, is owned by Park Holidays UK and shortly after Mr Taylor’s death, a spokesman said: “Park Holidays UK extends it sympathies to the relatives of the gentleman whose body was recovered on September 20 from a holiday home on the park.”