Homeless man kicked out of police station died in freezing temperatures
MAN WAS JUST WEEKS AWAY FROM TRAVELLING HOME TO GREECE
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