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Mystery body found on Saddleworth Moor finally identified


CCTV footage of David Lytton, who has been identified after he was found dead more than a year ago (Greater Manchester Police/PA)

CCTV footage of David Lytton, who has been identified after he was found dead more than a year ago (Greater Manchester Police/PA)

CCTV footage of David Lytton, who has been identified after he was found dead more than a year ago (Greater Manchester Police/PA)

The identity of a mystery man found dead on a Greater Manchester hillside more than a year ago has been revealed.

David Lytton, 67, who had travelled to the UK from Pakistan two days before his death, was discovered fully clothed and lying prone on the ground above Dove Stone Reservoir on Saddleworth Moor on December 12, 2015.

He had no wallet, mobile phone or other identification and he remained unidentified despite numerous public appeals and the release of CCTV footage of his last known movements.

The day before he had travelled by train from London to Manchester and later went into The Clarence pub in Greenfield, Saddleworth, and asked the landlord the way to "the top of the mountain".

On Thursday, Manchester North Coroner Simon Nelson said his name had been confirmed after detectives discovered he had travelled from Lahore, Pakistan, to the UK two days before his death.

The family of Mr Lytton has been informed and a full inquest will take place in March.

Greater Manchester Police said Mr Lytton was from London.

Previously it had emerged he had strychnine in his system - a highly toxic substance used in rat poison.

He had also had a 10cm metal plate inserted into his left leg between 2001 and 2015, which indicated the operation would have taken place in Pakistan.

A container of medicine found on his body was also linked to Pakistan.

A number of theories about his identity had been discounted, including speculation that a survivor from a plane crash in 1949 near Indian's Head - the outcrop where he was discovered by a cyclist - that killed 24 people may have made a pilgrimage to the site.

Also a man from Northern Ireland contacted police to say the released image of the mystery man bore a resemblance to his father who had gone missing more than 20 years before, but DNA checks ruled him out.

CCTV images of a man matching the description of the man had revealed his movements from Ealing Broadway station in London on the morning of December 11 and on to Euston and Manchester Piccadilly stations.

The next sighting was at The Clarence pub before, at about 4.30pm, in darkness, a motorist spotted him near where he was found the day after, around three-quarters of the way up the hill.

Also found on his body were three train tickets, including a return to London, and £130 in £10 notes.

An inquest in Heywood was told on Thursday that extensive police inquiries led to detectives concentrating on flight data from Pakistan to London.

This uncovered last month that Mr Lytton travelled from Lahore to London Heathrow on December 10 and he appeared to have no return travel arrangements.

The hearing was listed in the name of Neil Dovestones - a nickname reportedly given to him by mortuary workers at Royal Oldham Hospital.

Mr Nelson said he and the investigating officer, Detective Sergeant John Coleman, were "anxious" the information of Mr Lytton's identity be made public "without delay" but he added: "There are other areas of inquiry that need to be pursued and they are being pursued in order that I can fulfil my statutory obligations and conclude my inquest in due course.

"I am extremely anxious that the surviving members of the deceased's family be left in peace as such and can come to term with their grievous loss in the days, weeks and months that follow and they not be subjected to any unnecessary intrusion."

A full hearing will take place at Heywood Coroner's Court on March 14.

It is understood DNA taken from a relative of the deceased also matched Mr Lytton's profile.

Greater Manchester Police will reveal further details of its international inquiries - which Mr Nelson praised as "a highly professional investigative strategy" - on Friday morning.

In a statement, the force said: "After more than a year of painstaking inquiries, which included media appeals being released in the UK and Pakistan, as well as assistance from the National Crime Agency, detectives investigating the mysterious case of 'Neil Dovestones' have made a positive identification.

"At an inquest in Heywood earlier today, senior coroner for Oldham, Mr Simon Nelson confirmed that the true identity of the man found close to Dovestones Reservoir is David Lytton, 67, from London."

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