TWO homeless men died in a Kidderminster B&B just days apart, a national investigation by journalists has revealed.

The deaths of Terry Taylor, 53, and Michael Hill at the Lion Hotel in Bromsgrove Street came just two days apart and are among at least 449 people across the UK whose lives ended this year while homeless or living in temporary accommodation.

Mr Taylor died of natural causes – it is understood he had been suffering from cancer – while the death of Mr Hill is being investigated by Worcestershire’s coroner. An inquest into the circumstances of his death will take place next January.

Their deaths would likely have gone unnoticed but for a fresh impetus among journalists to spotlight and record the deaths of homeless people sleeping rough or living in temporary accommodation.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, supported by a network of journalists and publications including Wyre Life which is run by independent Kidderminster journalist Jane Haynes, is seeking to investigate every homeless death across the UK.

Terry Taylor had been living in a room at the Lion Hotel for over a year. Described by people who knew him as an ex-soldier, he had ended up on the streets, a troubled and troubling alcoholic.

Over the previous decade he’s been on an unrelenting treadmill of rough sleeping, drinking, crime and prison.

He’d been handed criminal anti-social behaviour orders because of his drunken activity in Worcester, Gloucester and Birmingham, and had spent time in prison.

Last year, after his last spell behind bars, he was placed in The Lion, in the heart of Kidderminster, by housing officers at Worcester City Council.

Though he had failed to meet strict eligibility criteria that applied then because he was deemed “intentionally homeless”, the council chose to help him under discretionary powers because there were concerns for his welfare.

After his death on July 4 this year, hotel owner David Murdoch posted to a Kidderminster community Facebook page amid speculation: “A good friend, ex-soldier, has passed due to terminal illness. Nothing to do with drugs. Awful that people cannot let folks live or rest in peace.”

He added: “It’s a beautiful day. Take a walk and spend ten seconds smiling for a good old soul. He would appreciate that.”

Two days later Michael Hill was found dead in his room on the second floor.

Police and forensic experts descended on the hotel to investigate the death, amid concerns about how long Michael had been lying undiscovered.

On June 27, Michael had been arrested by armed officers in a swoop on the hotel and quizzed about a firearm-related threat against police made on social media. He was released after questioning.

His death was immediately referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct because of the proximity of the two events. The case has since been passed back for local investigation and referred to Worcestershire’s coroner, who has yet to formally open an inquest.

*To read Jane Haynes' full story visit Wyre Life.