Home­less man kicked out of po­lice sta­tion died in freez­ing tem­per­a­tures

MAN WAS JUST WEEKS AWAY FROM TRAV­EL­LING HOME TO GREECE

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By GRAINNE CUFFE

A MUCH-LOVED home­less man who died af­ter be­ing turfed out in freez­ing tem­per­a­tures from Uxbridge po­lice sta­tion was just weeks away from fly­ing home to Greece, friends said.

Per­i­cles Mala­gardis, known as Peri, moved to Lon­don in 1989 and worked as a de­liv­ery driver for 11 years be­fore fall­ing on hard times.

Af­ter the break­down of a re­la­tion­ship he started liv­ing in his car, but it was im­pounded five years ago and he was forced to live on the streets.

Due to Peri’s “larger than life char­ac­ter” he be­came known in west Lon­don and was well liked by any­one he came across.

So much so that staff at Cock­fos­ters sta­tion would top up his Oys­ter card so he could travel to Heathrow Air­port and spend most nights in Ter­mi­nal 5.

Staff at the air­port, who be­came close to him over the years, would give him food so he would not go hun­gry.

Some of the British Air­ways crew, who took Peri un­der his wing, started crowd­fund­ing for him to get a flight home to fam­ily he had not seen in years.

On the night he died, he went to Uxbridge Po­lice sta­tion af­ter leav­ing hos­pi­tal to pick up his dog Django, who was “ev­ery­thing to him”, as he was be­ing kept in ken­nels.

He was told he could not pick him up that night but would have to wait till morn­ing.

He was then kicked out by PC Bhupin­der Kalsi in the early hours of the morn­ing as tem­per­a­tures dipped to­wards zero.

He was found un­re­spon­sive five hours later, with a core body tem­per­a­ture of 26°C and pro­nounced dead an hour later.

Lloyd Elling­ton, a min­is­ter at the Church of God of Proph­esy in Wem­b­ley, now an as­sis­tant pas­tor, was at PC Kalsi’s gross in­com­pe­tence hear­ing on Fri­day Novem­ber 16, in which he was dis­missed.

He said: “The first time I met Peri was when he knocked on the church door look­ing for a place to rest his feet.

“He was very proud. He said ‘I don’t want any money, I just want to rest my feet for a while’.

“He didn’t wear shoes be­cause of his con­di­tion and his ban­dages were soak­ing wet – he was in a bad state.”

Lloyd gave him shel­ter for the night and took him un­der his wing af­ter that.

He worked tire­lessly to get him into ac­com­mo­da­tion with Hilling­don Coun­cil, but could not be­cause Peri had orig­i­nally lived in En­field.

At the time, coun­cils would only house lo­cal peo­ple.

Be­fore Peri died, Mr Elling­ton had con­tacted his sons in Greece to see if they would meet him when he got home.

Mr Elling­ton said: “The worst thing is they got back to me a few weeks af­ter he died and said that would be great.

“One of his sons said he was liv­ing on his own and Peri could live with him.

“Peri was a gentle­man, this is why all of this is so hard to take. “He would never abuse any­one. “It’s bit­ter, he was weeks away from go­ing home.”

More than £6,000 was crowd­funded for Peri so he could make the trip home.

Peri’s friend Jenny Perry, an air host­ess for British Air­ways, was at the hear­ing and one of the main peo­ple be­hind the crowd­fun­der.

Dev­as­tated by his death, she cried for much of the CCTV show­ing his grad­ual demise.

Peri had asked Jenny to look af­ter Django on many oc­ca­sions and she now takes care of him per­ma­nently.

She said: “It’s so sad be­cause the money we raised we ended up us­ing to bury him. He was such a char­ac­ter, he touched so many peo­ple. It’s ab­so­lutely dev­as­tat­ing.”

Hilling­don Po­lice HQ in Hilling­don

Well-known home­less man Peri would often sleep at Heathrow’s Ter­mi­nal 5

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