Lee Halpin death: Two men arrested after film-maker's body found

POLICE have made two arrests in connection with the death of a Tyneside filmmaker who had been making a documentary about homelessness.

Film-maker Lee Halpin who died while making a documentary about sleeping rough
Film-maker Lee Halpin who died while making a documentary about sleeping rough

POLICE have made two arrests in connection with the death of a Tyneside filmmaker who had been making a documentary about homelessness.

Lee Halpin, 26, was believed to have been making a documentary about sleeping rough on Newcastle’s streets when he died.

The former Heaton Manor School pupil was discovered in the vacant Summerhill Hostel, on Westgate Road, just before 10am on Wednesday.

Two men, aged 26 and 30, have been arrested in connection with the death on suspicion of supplying controlled drugs.

The men have been bailed pending further inquiries.

Lee had spoken with his friends about looking forward to the project and on Sunday was asking his 1,500 Twitter followers if anyone had a sleeping bag he could borrow.

In his last Tweet – on Sunday at 11.05am – Lee asked his followers: “If anyone has got an old phone I can have for a week, I’d be very grateful.”

Now friends have taken to Twitter to pay their respects to the man described as “a great advocate for the NE arts scene”.

Victoria Elliot wrote: “Our friend Lee Halpin, one of the most alive people I’ve ever known, has tragically died. Devastating news.”

Charlotte Mak wrote: “Heartbreaking news about Lee Halpin.

“Thoughts are with his family, such devastating and unexpected news. Rip Lee.”

Northumbria University Students’ Union said: “It is with great sadness that the union has heard of the death of Lee Halpin.

“Lee was previously employed as media coordinator and worked closely with many volunteers. The union offers its condolences to his family and friends.”

A spokesperson for the Save Newcastle Libraries campaign said: “Lee was also a contributor to the Save Newcastle Libraries project and a friend to many people involved in saving Newcastle’s Libraries.”

Having completed his creative writing MA at Newcastle University, Lee went on to become a founder editor of Novel, a magazine covering all aspects of North East culture from performances and exhibitions to launch parties and talent.

For almost a year, he presented The Weekend Starts Here Show on Radio Tyneside, on Fridays from 8pm till 10pm.

A post-mortem examination to establish his cause of death will be carried out on Monday.

An inquest into his death is expected to opened on Tuesday.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer