Belfast Telegraph

Homeless man crushed to death in recycling truck 'felt safe' in bin

By Nicola Anderson and Tom Brady

The only reason Henryk Piotrowski would have crawled into the recycling bin was because he felt safe there, a friend of the tragic homeless man has said.

A lidded bin meant a roof over his head and concealment from wandering thugs who jeer at the homeless and sometimes even physically attack them, he said.

Henryk was crushed by a recycling truck which had picked up the bin, completely unaware that a man was sleeping inside.

Oliver, a 42-year-old from Hlohovec in Slovakia, was one of Henryk's closest friends. He has been attacked three times while sleeping rough in Dublin.

"We don't care about (being) warm, we just want a roof," he said almost fiercely, surrounded by the bustling crowds seeking a hot meal at the Capuchin Day Centre.

Busy though they are providing food to hundreds of people, all the staff wanted to see the photo of Henryk (43) issued by the gardai.

Every one of them instantly recognised him, their faces falling when they saw who it was. "Poor auld divil, he was a lovely man, a lovely man," says one of the cooks emotionally. They asked to put the photo up on the wall for their memorial service in November.

Gardai are trying to trace his final movements and are studying footage from CCTV cameras.

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