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Inquest to open into death of Londoner on Saddleworth Moor

David Lytton had no obvious connection to the area and no form of identification on his person.

An inquest into the death of a mystery man discovered on Saddleworth Moor will open today.

David Lytton, 67, was found fully clothed and lying prone on the ground by a cyclist on a track near Dove Stone Reservoir on December 12 2015.

The Londoner – who had been living in Pakistan for 10 years – had no obvious connection to the area and had no form of identification on his person.

Despite several public appeals, it took police more than a year to work out who the man was.

Inquiries established that Mr Lytton flew from Lahore to London Heathrow two days before he boarded a train from Euston railway station to Manchester Piccadilly.

He then went into The Clarence pub in Greenfield, Saddleworth, and asked the landlord the way to “the top of the mountain”.

As the investigation unfolded he became known as “Neil Dovestone” – a nickname given to him by mortuary workers at Royal Oldham Hospital.

It later emerged he had strychnine in his system – a highly toxic substance used in rat poison – which has been determined as the provisional cause of death.

The search went international when a post-mortem examination revealed that the man had a titanium plate in his leg which was only manufactured and fitted in Pakistan.

A container of medicine found on his body was also linked to the same country.

With assistance from the National Crime Agency, the investigation team utilised contacts within the medical community and the British embassy in Pakistan to issue a further appeal for information but drew a blank.

However, in December a study of flight data from Pakistan to London revealed that a passenger with a striking resemblance to an artist’s impression of the mystery man had travelled from Lahore to London on December 10, apparently with no return travel arrangements.

DNA analysis confirmed Neil Dovestone was actually Mr Lytton, from London.

An inquest into his death will be held at Heywood Coroner’s Court, Rochdale, on Tuesday afternoon.

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