Paralysed man living in tent is 'waiting to die in freezing temperatures'

thisisoxfordshire: Paraplegic Mark Payne is living in a tent at Wolvercote Lock Paraplegic Mark Payne is living in a tent at Wolvercote Lock

A PARALYSED man who is living in a tent by the Oxford Canal says he has given up and is just waiting to die as temperatures plunge below freezing.

Mark Payne, 51, is one of an estimated 250 people who are currently on the streets or in homeless hostels in Oxfordshire.

Earlier this week Mr Payne, who is paralysed from the waist down, became stranded by the Wolvercote lock because his wheelchair got a puncture.

People have been giving him food and offered to take him to a hostel but Mr Payne said: “I can’t move. I’m trapped here.

“I’m just going to stay here and let nature take its course.

“To be honest, I wish I was dead now. If they find my body, they’ll cremate me and I won’t have to wake up anymore.

“I’ll be where my nightmares can’t get me anymore and I won’t be so cold.”

Yesterday Oxford Homeless Pathways said it would be willing to help him, but Mr Payne has declined offers of being taken to a hostel due to what he said were previous bad experiences.

Mr Payne is originally from the Devon and Cornwall region and said his early life was troubled.

He said he lost the use of his legs during an explosion when he was in the military.

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Mr Payne said: “I don’t want to go in a hostel because there are alcoholics and drug addicts, and I don’t want to stay there.

“I have stayed in lots before, but I kept getting beaten up. I am easy prey for people like that because I can’t fight back.”

But he said the kindness of people had taken him aback.

He said: “A woman came and gave me a packet of crisps and a cup of tea on Wednesday, another man gave me this tent and someone gave me tobacco.

“When people gave me food the other day, I cried my eyes out. I never knew people could be so kind.”

Temperatures this weekend are expected to drop to -4C.

Lesley Dewhurst, chief executive of Oxford Homeless Pathways, said: “This man does not need to be on the streets in Oxford when it is so cold.

“When temperatures are forecast to drop below freezing for three consecutive nights, we put in emergency procedures to let more people into hostels.

“I know people are often wary of coming to us, but he could even come for the day and then decide if he wants to stay the night.”

She added: “A man as vulnerable as Mr Payne would be given priority before other younger people.

“So I don’t think the story here is about the services letting the man down. I just think it is sad that someone should feel so bad about accepting help.”

Comments (31)

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12:39pm Sat 27 Nov 10

rickenback says...

were in 2010,and a british man whos lived her for years...has to live like that!
were in 2010,and a british man whos lived her for years...has to live like that! rickenback

1:23pm Sat 27 Nov 10

oafie says...

Anyone trying to get help in Oxford is stuffed unless they have children......emerge
ncy accommodation available in hostels might be suitable for one or two nights...they are not beneficial to anyone's mental health....

It is unfortunately how things are now, that irrespective of all you might have done and contributed to society when you are alone in such a situation the services can offer very little .....a sixteen year old never having worked or contributed anything with a baby would be offered emergency accommodtaion and subsequently long term council housing for life!
Anyone trying to get help in Oxford is stuffed unless they have children......emerge ncy accommodation available in hostels might be suitable for one or two nights...they are not beneficial to anyone's mental health.... It is unfortunately how things are now, that irrespective of all you might have done and contributed to society when you are alone in such a situation the services can offer very little .....a sixteen year old never having worked or contributed anything with a baby would be offered emergency accommodtaion and subsequently long term council housing for life! oafie

1:35pm Sat 27 Nov 10

rickenback says...

there must be help out there for this guy...opens your eyes !find it unreal for 2010 ..wow!
there must be help out there for this guy...opens your eyes !find it unreal for 2010 ..wow! rickenback

1:58pm Sat 27 Nov 10

Kropotkin says...

Lesley Dewhurst, chief executive of Oxford Homeless Pathways said "I just think it is sad that someone should feel so bad about accepting help" - but that is not what this man said. He said he didn't like going to hostels because of the drugs, drink and violence.
Lesley Dewhurst, chief executive of Oxford Homeless Pathways said "I just think it is sad that someone should feel so bad about accepting help" - but that is not what this man said. He said he didn't like going to hostels because of the drugs, drink and violence. Kropotkin

4:20pm Sat 27 Nov 10

Peterr Mcvey says...

Perhaps the hostels in his native Devon are more friendly. He is not stranded at all, there is a multitude of help for him out there.
Perhaps the hostels in his native Devon are more friendly. He is not stranded at all, there is a multitude of help for him out there. Peterr Mcvey

5:38pm Sat 27 Nov 10

rickenback says...

bit harsh mc,the guys an exception,should get help..
bit harsh mc,the guys an exception,should get help.. rickenback

5:52pm Sat 27 Nov 10

rickenback says...

help,hostels,safehou
ses,nightshelters!gi
v the man equiped bunglow,we should start helpin our own...o.c.c.its a disgrace,n.o.c.c.,ch
erwell and whoeva..
help,hostels,safehou ses,nightshelters!gi v the man equiped bunglow,we should start helpin our own...o.c.c.its a disgrace,n.o.c.c.,ch erwell and whoeva.. rickenback

5:53pm Sat 27 Nov 10

rickenback says...

help,hostels,safehou
ses,nightshelters!gi
v the man equiped bunglow,we should start helpin our own...o.c.c.its a disgrace,n.o.c.c.,ch
erwell and whoeva..
help,hostels,safehou ses,nightshelters!gi v the man equiped bunglow,we should start helpin our own...o.c.c.its a disgrace,n.o.c.c.,ch erwell and whoeva.. rickenback

8:47pm Sat 27 Nov 10

jockox3 says...

Who is this "our own" we should start "helpin" by the way? If Mr Payne is "our own" who is not "our own"?

Maybe a month at Littlemore would be enough to find him some respite and a route to a better future not involving the problems he has at the shelters.
Who is this "our own" we should start "helpin" by the way? If Mr Payne is "our own" who is not "our own"? Maybe a month at Littlemore would be enough to find him some respite and a route to a better future not involving the problems he has at the shelters. jockox3

11:32am Sun 28 Nov 10

Darkforbid says...

Mark? Welcome to the homeless life.

The endless offer of help you don't need.
Mark? Welcome to the homeless life. The endless offer of help you don't need. Darkforbid

12:06pm Sun 28 Nov 10

Victor Meldrew2 says...

jockox3 wrote:
Who is this "our own" we should start "helpin" by the way? If Mr Payne is "our own" who is not "our own"? Maybe a month at Littlemore would be enough to find him some respite and a route to a better future not involving the problems he has at the shelters.
Maybe this will help explain Jock

Figures show that the UK spending on foreign aid - including the amount spent by departments other than DFID - will rise by 50 per cent, increasing from £8.4billion this year to £12.6billion in 2014.
The £12.6billion figure is equal to £479 for every household in Britain.

An investigation into housing benefit was ordered on Friday after it emerged that an Afghan family was placed in a £1.2 million home paid for by the taxpayer.
[quote][p][bold]jockox3[/bold] wrote: Who is this "our own" we should start "helpin" by the way? If Mr Payne is "our own" who is not "our own"? Maybe a month at Littlemore would be enough to find him some respite and a route to a better future not involving the problems he has at the shelters.[/p][/quote]Maybe this will help explain Jock Figures show that the UK spending on foreign aid - including the amount spent by departments other than DFID - will rise by 50 per cent, increasing from £8.4billion this year to £12.6billion in 2014. The £12.6billion figure is equal to £479 for every household in Britain. An investigation into housing benefit was ordered on Friday after it emerged that an Afghan family was placed in a £1.2 million home paid for by the taxpayer. Victor Meldrew2

5:34pm Sun 28 Nov 10

Berty says...

This man seems to have decided to end his life. Maybe he needs to be admitted to a psychiatric hostial if he's serious. If not, and I believe this is the case, then he seems to just be a massive attention-seeker. I mean, he posed for a photo, gave an interview, talked to a journalist. If he was truly suicidal he would not have called attention to himself. He needs to decide whether his behaviour is a stunt to bring attention to the plight of injured veterans of a genuine plea for help.
I find this story tasteless and pointless. There is always help available for injured veterans, espeially if they are paralysed. The Royal British Legion, Social Services and other voluntary bodies are bending over backwards to help people like him but this story makes the UK look like a heartless country with no conscience. As a hard-working voluntary fund-raiser for the RBL I find this an outrageous piece of emotional blackmail.
This man seems to have decided to end his life. Maybe he needs to be admitted to a psychiatric hostial if he's serious. If not, and I believe this is the case, then he seems to just be a massive attention-seeker. I mean, he posed for a photo, gave an interview, talked to a journalist. If he was truly suicidal he would not have called attention to himself. He needs to decide whether his behaviour is a stunt to bring attention to the plight of injured veterans of a genuine plea for help. I find this story tasteless and pointless. There is always help available for injured veterans, espeially if they are paralysed. The Royal British Legion, Social Services and other voluntary bodies are bending over backwards to help people like him but this story makes the UK look like a heartless country with no conscience. As a hard-working voluntary fund-raiser for the RBL I find this an outrageous piece of emotional blackmail. Berty

7:21pm Sun 28 Nov 10

cuckoo says...

Think Bertie has made a very pertinent point here!
Think Bertie has made a very pertinent point here! cuckoo

8:06pm Sun 28 Nov 10

Darkforbid says...

"I find this an outrageous
piece of emotional blackmail"

Really... What exactly is he asking for?
"I find this an outrageous piece of emotional blackmail" Really... What exactly is he asking for? Darkforbid

10:06pm Sun 28 Nov 10

Berty says...

He's saying no one cares, and because no one apparently cares he's going to kill himself. If that's not emotional blackmail I don't know what is. I imagine that he wants a house as he has refused to live in a hostel. There is no reason for him to live out in the open because of a puncture on his wheelchair. His story is one of manipulation and yes, emotional blackmail. Just because I have the guts to go against the outraged majority doesn't mean it isn't the truth!
A hostel is FAR from perfect, but there is no reason for us to feel guilty because he has CHOSEN to sleep out in the open. In fcat, his actions take the attention away from genuine rough sleepers. I would say that he needs some psychiatric care, so it's not that I'm lacking sympathy for him.
Perhaps his old regiment have a scheme to help him.
He's saying no one cares, and because no one apparently cares he's going to kill himself. If that's not emotional blackmail I don't know what is. I imagine that he wants a house as he has refused to live in a hostel. There is no reason for him to live out in the open because of a puncture on his wheelchair. His story is one of manipulation and yes, emotional blackmail. Just because I have the guts to go against the outraged majority doesn't mean it isn't the truth! A hostel is FAR from perfect, but there is no reason for us to feel guilty because he has CHOSEN to sleep out in the open. In fcat, his actions take the attention away from genuine rough sleepers. I would say that he needs some psychiatric care, so it's not that I'm lacking sympathy for him. Perhaps his old regiment have a scheme to help him. Berty

10:36pm Sun 28 Nov 10

Darkforbid says...

Saying "let nature take its course"

Is not a cry for help... Just a man whos had his fill of life.

What in your view is a genuine rough
sleeper?
Saying "let nature take its course" Is not a cry for help... Just a man whos had his fill of life. What in your view is a genuine rough sleeper? Darkforbid

11:50pm Sun 28 Nov 10

Berty says...

Someone who is unable to find any shelter as the hostels are full. I have nursed many men with horrific health problems as a result of this.

If he is just a man who has given up, then why answer so many questions for the press? Why allow his photo to be taken? I'm not heartless, I just think this story is bizarre, without any real purpose. I mean, what is it asking us to do? How are we supposed to help? How should it make us feel?

If I had given up on life and decided my life had runs its course I would not live out my final days so publicly. I would hide away. This is either a cry for help or emotional blackmail. Certainly makes me feel lile crap that he's outside in this awful weather.
Someone who is unable to find any shelter as the hostels are full. I have nursed many men with horrific health problems as a result of this. If he is just a man who has given up, then why answer so many questions for the press? Why allow his photo to be taken? I'm not heartless, I just think this story is bizarre, without any real purpose. I mean, what is it asking us to do? How are we supposed to help? How should it make us feel? If I had given up on life and decided my life had runs its course I would not live out my final days so publicly. I would hide away. This is either a cry for help or emotional blackmail. Certainly makes me feel lile crap that he's outside in this awful weather. Berty

12:48am Mon 29 Nov 10

Darkforbid says...

As a note on shelters... A friend of mind is on the streets tonight, banned from Oxford night shelter, for kicking a ball in the direction of a staff member!

If you think places like this do any good... Your living in the dark ages.
As a note on shelters... A friend of mind is on the streets tonight, banned from Oxford night shelter, for kicking a ball in the direction of a staff member! If you think places like this do any good... Your living in the dark ages. Darkforbid

1:06am Mon 29 Nov 10

Berty says...

I've already said that night shelters are far from ideal, but as a paraplegic this man has more options than the able-bodied. This story has a lot more to it than meets the eye. People don't end up on the streets for no reason. Whatever the reason, he doesn't have to stay in a tent just because his wheelchair has a flat.
I've already said that night shelters are far from ideal, but as a paraplegic this man has more options than the able-bodied. This story has a lot more to it than meets the eye. People don't end up on the streets for no reason. Whatever the reason, he doesn't have to stay in a tent just because his wheelchair has a flat. Berty

1:58am Mon 29 Nov 10

Darkforbid says...

True... For example I live on the streets because I hate the society I was born into.

Still.
True... For example I live on the streets because I hate the society I was born into. Still. Darkforbid

8:42am Mon 29 Nov 10

mandate says...

I think you are making a lot of sense Berty. My wife has worked with homeless people for over 20 years.
A lot of people are homeless because they have problems adapting to what we consider to be 'a normal lifestyle'.
Hostels for the homeless have a bad reputation because they are often occupied by people with drink or drug addictions. Anti-social behaviour is commonplace. If a person turns up under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then they are usually refused a bed for the night.
I understand that this man feels that a hostel is a threatning environment. But surely the 'any port in a storm' principle must also apply to him.
Maybe there is more to this story than we are reading. How has he lived and survived until now?
I think you are making a lot of sense Berty. My wife has worked with homeless people for over 20 years. A lot of people are homeless because they have problems adapting to what we consider to be 'a normal lifestyle'. Hostels for the homeless have a bad reputation because they are often occupied by people with drink or drug addictions. Anti-social behaviour is commonplace. If a person turns up under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then they are usually refused a bed for the night. I understand that this man feels that a hostel is a threatning environment. But surely the 'any port in a storm' principle must also apply to him. Maybe there is more to this story than we are reading. How has he lived and survived until now? mandate

11:57pm Mon 29 Nov 10

Darkforbid says...

BTW OXford mail... Did he make it past the weekend?
BTW OXford mail... Did he make it past the weekend? Darkforbid

3:00pm Tue 30 Nov 10

Peterr Mcvey says...

Darkforbid wrote:
As a note on shelters... A friend of mind is on the streets tonight, banned from Oxford night shelter, for kicking a ball in the direction of a staff member! If you think places like this do any good... Your living in the dark ages.
Err he can't be much of a friend if you won't let him kip on your floor
[quote][p][bold]Darkforbid[/bold] wrote: As a note on shelters... A friend of mind is on the streets tonight, banned from Oxford night shelter, for kicking a ball in the direction of a staff member! If you think places like this do any good... Your living in the dark ages.[/p][/quote]Err he can't be much of a friend if you won't let him kip on your floor Peterr Mcvey

11:12pm Tue 30 Nov 10

Darkforbid says...

Err he can't be much of a friend
if you won't let him kip on your
floor

He did last year... If you call the squat I opened last year a floor...

At the moment, theres no room in my tent... Homeless
Err he can't be much of a friend if you won't let him kip on your floor He did last year... If you call the squat I opened last year a floor... At the moment, theres no room in my tent... Homeless Darkforbid

3:36am Wed 1 Dec 10

Peterr Mcvey says...

Darkforbid wrote:
Err he can't be much of a friend if you won't let him kip on your floor He did last year... If you call the squat I opened last year a floor... At the moment, theres no room in my tent... Homeless
Must be hell of a tent, and great fun being homeless like you, if you can afford an internet connection.
[quote][p][bold]Darkforbid[/bold] wrote: Err he can't be much of a friend if you won't let him kip on your floor He did last year... If you call the squat I opened last year a floor... At the moment, theres no room in my tent... Homeless[/p][/quote]Must be hell of a tent, and great fun being homeless like you, if you can afford an internet connection. Peterr Mcvey

4:08am Wed 1 Dec 10

Darkforbid says...

Must be hell of a tent, and great
fun being homeless like you, if
you can afford an internet
connection.

Or I'm using a mobile.
Must be hell of a tent, and great fun being homeless like you, if you can afford an internet connection. Or I'm using a mobile. Darkforbid

2:34pm Thu 2 Dec 10

Jack the Cat says...

I'm afraid as the Government continue to destroy the Welfare System whilst drastically cutting funding to bodies who act as advisors to the poor (notably the CAB) we will see more and more tragedies like this one. We are facing a Social Disaster the like of which we have not seen since WWII.
What a terrible disgrace this all is.
I'm afraid as the Government continue to destroy the Welfare System whilst drastically cutting funding to bodies who act as advisors to the poor (notably the CAB) we will see more and more tragedies like this one. We are facing a Social Disaster the like of which we have not seen since WWII. What a terrible disgrace this all is. Jack the Cat

8:19pm Thu 2 Dec 10

cuckoo says...

Must be hell of a tent, and great
fun being homeless like you, if
you can afford an internet
connection.

Or I'm using a mobile.

mobile phones with internet connection options dont come cheap!!....maybe you are just playing devils advocate here Darkforbid!!!
Berty and mandate are still making better points than you!
Must be hell of a tent, and great fun being homeless like you, if you can afford an internet connection. Or I'm using a mobile. mobile phones with internet connection options dont come cheap!!....maybe you are just playing devils advocate here Darkforbid!!! Berty and mandate are still making better points than you! cuckoo

9:49pm Thu 2 Dec 10

Darkforbid says...

-mobile phones with internet
connection options dont come
cheap!!....-

Sorry... Tramps, only allowed non-internet mobiles?, mine £10 and £5 per month net top up.

-maybe you are just
playing devils advocate here
Darkforbid!!!-

Why would I?

-Berty and mandate are still
making better points than you!-

So talk to them... About what I live.
-mobile phones with internet connection options dont come cheap!!....- Sorry... Tramps, only allowed non-internet mobiles?, mine £10 and £5 per month net top up. -maybe you are just playing devils advocate here Darkforbid!!!- Why would I? -Berty and mandate are still making better points than you!- So talk to them... About what I live. Darkforbid

11:56am Fri 3 Dec 10

Rumple Fiveskin says...

Darkforbid wrote:
As a note on shelters... A friend of mind is on the streets tonight, banned from Oxford night shelter, for kicking a ball in the direction of a staff member! If you think places like this do any good... Your living in the dark ages.
Your friend did more than that and you know that very well (even though that initself is assault). It takes a lot to get kicked out of a shelter in Oxford - threatening behaviour and assault would warrant being kicked out- don't you think or do you think that its ok - maybe thats why you are living rough?

The bloke in the article could get support from countless agencies and charities. The military charities would move heavan and earth to house him if he approached them (and if he was actually ex-military - just by saying that seems to attract the Walter Mittys who are just attention seeking and never actually served).

The article is a non-article about an attention seeker - nothing more.
[quote][p][bold]Darkforbid[/bold] wrote: As a note on shelters... A friend of mind is on the streets tonight, banned from Oxford night shelter, for kicking a ball in the direction of a staff member! If you think places like this do any good... Your living in the dark ages.[/p][/quote]Your friend did more than that and you know that very well (even though that initself is assault). It takes a lot to get kicked out of a shelter in Oxford - threatening behaviour and assault would warrant being kicked out- don't you think or do you think that its ok - maybe thats why you are living rough? The bloke in the article could get support from countless agencies and charities. The military charities would move heavan and earth to house him if he approached them (and if he was actually ex-military - just by saying that seems to attract the Walter Mittys who are just attention seeking and never actually served). The article is a non-article about an attention seeker - nothing more. Rumple Fiveskin

8:08pm Sun 5 Dec 10

Darkforbid says...

-Your friend did more than that
and you know that very well
(even though that initself is
assault).-

lol... You are joking, play ground assault.

-It takes a lot to get
kicked out of a shelter in Oxford
- threatening behaviour and
assault would warrant being
kicked out- don't you think-

No... Not unless its a police case, or do you think giving shelter staff the power to "ban" from aid... Is something a charity can or should do.

-The article is a non-article about
an attention seeker - nothing
more.-

Do you have any Human kindness... At all?
-Your friend did more than that and you know that very well (even though that initself is assault).- lol... You are joking, play ground assault. -It takes a lot to get kicked out of a shelter in Oxford - threatening behaviour and assault would warrant being kicked out- don't you think- No... Not unless its a police case, or do you think giving shelter staff the power to "ban" from aid... Is something a charity can or should do. -The article is a non-article about an attention seeker - nothing more.- Do you have any Human kindness... At all? Darkforbid

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