Editor’s comment: Tragedy of rough sleeper Henriett

PUBLISHED: 10:00 09 May 2019

The tragic death of Henriett Szucs has reminded editor Lindsay Jones of the vulnerability of the homeless.

The tragic death of Henriett Szucs has reminded editor Lindsay Jones of the vulnerability of the homeless.


The discovery of the bodies of two women in a freezer is horrifying – like something out of BBC drama Line of Duty.

This week the second woman was identified as someone who had been sleeping rough in Ilford and is believed to have been missing since the summer of 2016.

Henriett Szucs was a talented artist who had come to the UK from Hungary looking for a better life.

She often drew pictures of angels praying.

The Recorder had spoken to her as part of our series of features on the plight of rough sleepers in Ilford.

She explained that a few weeks after arriving in the country she was brutally attacked and robbed of her passport, money and phone.

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Unable to replace them she moved in with her boyfriend, but when that relationship broke down she was homeless.

We don't know what happened between the summer of 2016 and the discovery of her body almost three years later.

We can't even imagine what her family must be feeling after being told this week that her body had been found in a freezer in a Newham flat.

We don't know how long she had been there.

What a terribly sad waste of a life.

It also shows how vulnerable rough sleepers can be and why the support of the Welcome Centre and the Salvation Army night shelter are so important.

The Recorder has been supporting Project Malachi, a scheme to provide temporary homes for rough sleepers like Henriett. Perhaps such a home would have helped her.

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