Tribute to man found dead in a skip

Matthew Symonds

Matthew Symonds

First published in News Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , @BerenCross

THE family of Matthew Symonds have paid tribute to a talkative, kind and polite man, who was devoted to his late mother.

The body of 34-year-old former Headlands School pupil, who grew up in Swindon, was found in a commercial waste unit by employees at the Biffa depot in Avonmouth on August 1.

In a statement released through Wiltshire Police yesterday, the grandmother and aunt of Mr Symonds revealed their distress in learning of the way he died.

In a statement, grandmother Susan Symonds and aunt Rachel Symonds said: “The whole family are shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Matthew in such circumstances.

“We remain distressed about the way it happened – it is a tragedy and appears to have been a terrible accident. He will never be forgotten.

“Despite his hard life and upbringing he was a good lad who was kind and polite. He loved to talk and would continue until, in the end, you had to tell him to be quiet.

“The loss of his mum had a massive impact on him. As an only child he was devoted to his mum, Madeline, who sadly died in September last year.

“Due to the post mortem and police investigation, it has not been possible to make any funeral arrangements yet.”

The investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mr Symonds’s death continues. The Major Crime Investigation team, which brings together specialist investigative staff from both Avon and Somerset and Wiltshire Police, has continued with its enquiries.

A spokeswoman for Wiltshire Police said: “It has been established that his body was transported with commercial recycling waste from a location in the centre of Swindon.

“A preliminary post-mortem examination has been completed and further tests are being carried out.

“However, we can confirm that his death is not being treated as suspicious and a file is being prepared on behalf of HM Coroner.

“An inquest will be held at a later date.

“A referral has also been made to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).”

HSE confirmed it had received a referral on the matter and it would now begin its own investigations into Biffa, the firm responsible for the depot where Mr Symonds’ body was found.

A spokeswoman could not confirm how long the investigation would take, or what kind of action the waste firm might face, if any.

Matthew Humphreys, Biffa group head of safety, health and quality, said: “Following confirmation that a body was received at our Avonmouth Transfer Station during the morning of Friday, August 1, Biffa would like to extend its condolences to the family of Matthew Symonds.

“The police have concluded their investigations and have passed their findings on to the Health and Safety Executive which will now conduct further investigations.

“Biffa takes health and safety very seriously and is also conducting its own internal investigation, into the circumstances surrounding the incident.”

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