TRIBUTES have been paid to a homeless man whose body was found in a Malvern shop doorway on Christmas morning.

Flowers and poems have been placed outside department store Brays in Worcester Road, where the body of the man, named locally as Joby Sparrey, was found.

One message from "your big sis Sair" reads: "I just can't believe this has happened. Such a short life! It helps knowing that you are at peace with mum and dad."

A poem, signed Carol, reads in part: "You breathed your last on Christmas day – angels came to lead you home. And tears fall in the shop doorway as I lay my flowers down."

Mr Sparrey's death is the second of a rough sleeper in the town in recent months, following that of Remigiusz Boczarski, who had been living in a bus shelter in Wells Road. He is believed to have taken his own life aged 40 on October 31.

Stephen Gabriel, head of housing and communities for Malvern Hills District Council, said of Mr Sparrey’s death: “This is a tragic event particularly at this time of year.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to friends and family of Mr Sparrey.

"Mr Sparrey was known to us and we offered extensive support including offering him temporary accommodation whilst longer term options were explored. We do not know the full circumstances of his death but we will conduct a full review.”

MP Harriett Baldwin said: “It is not appropriate for me to comment on the specifics of this case at this time, but my thoughts are with his friends and family, and anyone who has been affected by this news.

“I know from my own casework that some people who live on the streets have complex needs and government and local authorities must continue to work together to help some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

“Nationally the government announced a cross-departmental £100million strategy to focus on preventing people from becoming homeless earlier this month.

"Locally, Malvern Hills and Wychavon District Councils have developed their own plans to reduce homelessness including the appointment of a dedicated homelessness prevention

officer, and a process to help those who need support in times of crisis including

important advice on the council’s website.”

Nic Mcmillan wrote on Facebook: “Out of all the empty buildings in Malvern there has to be one that could be turned into a permanent shelter for the homeless. Life is getting financially

harder for everyone, the amount of people homeless is only going to rise. If there was a shelter in Malvern I would volunteer in the evenings and days when kids are in nursery and I’m sure many

more people would help. You never know when you might be that person that needs help. So sad.”

A manager at Brays confirmed that a man was found dead outside the shop on Christmas Day when the premises was closed.

A friend of Joby said he was aged 47 or 48 years old. She added: “He had been homeless for a while and hung about with the other homeless in Malvern, a number of which I am friends with.

“It really saddens and angers me that people are having to sleep in tents on Malvern Link common or try to sleep in an abandoned caravan that for all accounts was actually open to the elements because it had previously been trashed.”