Homeless Brighton teen died after falling from pier

Posted On 11 May 2017 at 2:51 pm

A homeless teenager who friends say was moved from Brighton after being evicted from a hostel for bringing friends round died last week after falling from Eastbourne Pier.

Callum King, who was just 18, fell from the pier on Friday at about midday. He was pulled from the water by paramedics but sadly died at the scene.

Friends say he had been struggling with mental illness, and being moved from Brighton to Eastbourne had left him isolated.

Daniel Harris, founder of the Emergency and Temporary Housing Residents Action Group (Ethrag) said that he had been in contact with Callum, who was a member of the group.

He said: “Callum slipped through the net. It’s really tragic. The family is grieving at the moment and the can’t understand how this happened.

“It’s an absolute disgrace. The family just want to know what happened.”

Mr Harris said that Callum had been evicted from the privately run temporary accommodation flats at Percival Terrace after breaking the no visitor rule, despite his fellow residents’ pleas to the management to let him stay.

He moved a few more times in Brighton before eventually moving to Eastbourne – miles away from his friends in Brighton and family in Worthing.

Ethrag is now calling for a full council investigation into how he “slipped through the net”.

A council spokesman said Brighton and Hove City Council were unable to comment before an inquest had been held.

A police spokeswoman said: “The man who died after falling Eastbourne Pier on Friday (5 May) has been identified as 18-year-old Callum King of no fixed address. A date has not yet been set for the inquest.

  1. Jan Cosgrove Reply

    If so a complete and utter failure by a broken system that condemns kids (yes) like this boy (yes) to live miserable lives and to DIE. This is uncaring, austerity-defined Britain where the weakest go to the wall. NHS short of money? Ah,the fact that those whose earnings exceed the Upper Earnings Limit UEL (around £42k pa) pay only 1% employee NI on the sum they earn above that limit (and not 11%) means we are deprived of £10 billion a year these upper earnings are saved, so someone on £1million a year (and we have more of those we are being told) pay an effective 1.5% employee NI. I found this via Freedom of Information, but no one in power ever mentions it. Some of that money might have helped Callum survive by having the accommodation support he needed. Daniel Harris rightly is distraught and angry. Never mind bloody brexit, this will be a decent country when we look after the Callums properly, and when the rich and powerful pay their full dues.

  2. Daniel Harris Reply

    Its not written here and the family wanted this on there terms but was not to be, however they loved Callum lots and the headline does not justice, he was sofa surfing in Eastbourne with a friend after being consistently let down. He was doing some unpaid community work and wanted to get his CSCS card for employment.

    There is more and in time the family will speak out, but they need to come to terms and Jan you are right, he was let down, I personally 11 months ago contacted councillors and asked them to help him, they failed him, as did the director of children’s services. Today Friday 12th May would be Callums 19th Birthday. Happy Birthday Callum, I hope you are now at peace. lots of love from all at ETHRAG. xxx

  3. Michael king Reply

    Didn’t ño the lad very sad news. There shouldn’t be no homeless people out there fallstop. All these buildings that r around Brighton Eastbourne east Sussex west sussex that are just left with boreds up at the windows for years why don’t they put it to use and help the poor and homeless out… but instead some homeless break in the try stay warm or dry weeks later there getting kicked out. If they ain’t harming no one why don’t they just stay. It ain’t very nice a 18 /19 year old lad to be sofa surfing let alone homeless. R.i.P

  4. Kay Reply

    This is heart breaking , there so many empty buildings that could be used stop homelessness n yet the numbers keep growing

  5. Mike Reply

    RIP Callum. Terrible and unnecessary.

  6. Daniel Harris Reply

    There is a crowdfunding campaign set up by ETRHAG to help with funeral costs for his family, surprised its not in this article tbh. https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/callum-king

  7. christopher o'connor Reply

    absolutely shocking news, the brighton city council has to be made accountable.
    at 16 years old i had some friends around my temporary accommodation and i got thrown out, i went to the council and they sent me to eastbourne away from friends and family.
    i stayed at the Cambridge hotel and it was full of junkies and immigrants, i got the first train back and said i feared for my safety, hey kept me waiting on their seats until close, then at 16, said they will not house me and had to leave the office immediately, i had nowhere to go.
    my brother was staying at grand parade , his key did not work so i stayed homeless all weekend, then i went back on the Monday and demanded they let me stay in the worst junkie hostel in brighton, they mad me sig a waiver saying that if anything happened to me then it was not their responsibility.
    i was robbed at knife point on a frequent basis , i was surrounded by junkies everyday, i had threats against my life, i had nowhere to shower, bath or clean my clothes, i could not afford the ten pound a week out of my income support at £30, after around 2 years, a housing association came to my rescue and provided me with a housing association flat.
    i nearly lost my lives and wanted to die throughout this period several times.
    it is the lowest point of my life and i was just 16! fast forward 16 years and it is still happening to our youths.
    the council must be held responsible, my family is becoming homeless again the landlord is selling again, the council say they will move us to Birmingham, they treat us like cattle in cages and think they have the right to displace who they want, how they want.
    we have a month of unsettling circumstances and they are causing my mrs undue alarm and distress on a daily basis.
    we were born in brighton and our support network is in brighton, yet they displace us ? how is this justified.
    the council must be held responsible.

  8. Joss Holland-Forrester Reply

    You’ve got to look at under-funding too. I work as tenancy support in Scotland (originally from Brighton) I’m seconded to a local council. I sat in on a meeting the other day where we were told that we were losing £250000 for this next year. Not a huge amount but we have to make that up by receiving ‘loans’ from other local councils. Housing up here has become a lot stricter due to individuals not being able to manage a tenancy once in it. Hence my role. Councils are being squeezed tight from central government. THIS is absolutely not an excuse. What has happened to Callum is beyond tragic. It is becoming more prevalent though.

  9. Barney Reply

    Thanks to Daniel Harris for posting the link. I’ve made up the difference (but not using the “nom de plume” I use here), so at least now the funeral costs will be covered, though I hope people will continue to give. There are numerous “hidden” costs at a time like this.

    I never knew Callum, but I met some people returning from the funeral on Monday, and knowing first hand the pain of bereavement in similar circumstances, I really feel for his beautiful girlfriend.

    No. There’s no ulterior motive. I’m a pensioner and crippled, but I understand what she must be going through at such a young age. You don’t get over something like that.

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