UPDATE: Body in the lake victim named

THE body of a man was found in a Romford Park by a member of the public on Tuesday afternoon (November 16).

Paul Sargent was pulled from a “secluded” section of Raphael Park lake, in Main Road, by emergency teams.

The 60-year-old victim, dressed all in black, was found floating in the water by passers-by at around midday.

One resident said: “I take my grandchildren to this lake frequently and to think this can happen here in our borough, it’s dreadful.”

The man, who had mental health problems, had escaped from a nearby care unit in North Street, at around 7.30pm on Monday evening (November 15).

He had been reported missing to police by nursing staff.

A police spokesman said: “The body was recovered with support of parks officers, fire crews and the marine support unit.”

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The death is not being treated as suspicious, she added.

Havering Council park keepers diverted park users while police and forensics officers sealed off the scene.

Part of the park remained closed until Tuesday evening.

Four fire teams from Hornchurch, Harold Hill, and Dagenham, and a specialist fire rescue unit from East Ham, were involved in the recovery, a London Fire Brigade spokesman said.

A council spokesman added: “A body was discovered in a secluded part of the lake at Raphael Park by a member of the public who called the emergency services. We will be assisting the police in any way we can with their investigation.”

A postmortem is due today (Thursday November 18) or tomorrow, but it is thought the man drowned.

Next-of-kin, from Hertfordshire, has been informed.

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