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Foul play unlikely after man's body discovered in alleyway

By Angela Rainey

Published 11/02/2016

Police are investigating a sudden death after a man's body was found in an alleyway in east Belfast
Police are investigating a sudden death after a man's body was found in an alleyway in east Belfast

Police are investigating a sudden death after a man's body was found in an alleyway in east Belfast.

Residents in My Lady's Road said they were shocked at the discovery and were only made aware when PSNI officers knocked on doors at 5.30am yesterday.

Initial reports suggested that the 51-year-old man had died from natural causes and police are not investigating any suspicious circumstances. Both ends of the alley were still cordoned off last night, and residents whose properties back on to it are asked not to enter it until forensics officers leave.

Lena Zablotnicz (42) is a trainee hairdresser. She has been living in east Belfast for nearly two years having moved from Poland.

"I never heard anything until this morning, when my friend called me," she said. "It's very sad for the man.

"People were very surprised to hear this morning, as people are very close here and it's a friendly, safe place. We did not expect it. It's very sad.

"I heard that maybe he had taken a heart attack and collapsed but I don't think many people in the street were aware of anything until the police called."

Neighbour Paul Biggs, a retired chef, said that he too was unaware of anything until he was walking his Alsatian dog yesterday morning.

The 65-year-old said: "I had Sheba out on the lead about 9am and I saw the vans and the forensics in white suits down the alleyway.

"A few people I spoke to said that the man had been making his way to work when he was found collapsed, some thought he died in hospital. Nobody really knows.

"I think he was originally found in the middle of the night.

"No matter what's happened, it's sad news for a family somewhere."

UUP councillor Chris McGimpsey said: "The community in the area is very shocked and saddened to hear the news,

"On what is a normal working day, residents woke up to be informed that a man's body had been found." He added: "Having spoken to residents, there is a real theme of shock throughout the community.

"It's a dreadfully sad situation and my sympathies, and indeed the sympathies of the community, are with the deceased and his family at this time."

Police said investigations are ongoing, though early indications suggest the death is not suspicious.

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