Poem tribute to tragic Leslie

Leslie Kiss, who grew up in Leyland and spent years roaming the streets of South Ribble, has died
Leslie Kiss, who grew up in Leyland and spent years roaming the streets of South Ribble, has died

The aunt of a homeless man found dead under a bridge has written a heartfelt poem in his memory.

Leslie Kiss, originally from Leyland, was found curled up by a member of public in his favoured place off Liverpool Road, Penwortham, on Tuesday, April 2.

According to Jude Eyre, who helped to raise Leslie after the death of his mother, the 48-year-old died of hypothermia and heart failure.

Mr Kiss spent 32 years on the streets of South Ribble, and had several brushes with the law.

In 2009 he was sentenced to 300 days in prison after being caught exposing himself in Fowler Lane, Farington.

He had been arrested for similar offences twice the year before, and had already been made subject to a sexual offences prevention order for persistent offending.

Ms Eyre said: “He did this so he could get sent to prison to stay off the streets.

“When he was a teenager he took drugs and was messed up because he blamed himself for his mother’s sudden death in 1982.

“He was 16 years old and never went back home.”

The poem, penned shortly after the news was broken to Ms Eyres on the telephone, alludes to Mr Kiss’s love of the band Queen, pickled gherkins and ketchup, as well as his “cheerful smile”.

One rhyming couple states: “It breaks my heart to know you died with the bitter winds echoing against those concrete struts.

“I have to believe you passed peacefully, because not to, will drive me nuts.”

It goes on to read: “In my minds eye, I see the boy that ran wild with my beloved wolves, awhile.

“Through tall green grass and dandelions, and always with a smile.

“You loved drawing crazy things with pencil and with pen.

“Oh, if only we had known then,

“What life had in store.

“Could we have loved you more?”

A police spokesman said: “We had a call from a member of the public at 1.45pm on April 2 reporting that he had found the body of a man under the bridge on the corner of Kingsway and Liverpool Road, close to St Fillan’s Medical Centre.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious and a file has been passed to the coroner.”

Undertaker Neal Buckley said funeral arrangements have yet to be finalised.