Death of tragic Canterbury man who fell on hard times

Wesley Gurney has died

A Canterbury man who fell on hard times has passed away.

Tragic Wesley Gurney, who was 41, was a familiar sight on the city streets.

He had struggled with serious substance misuse issues and had been charged with offences which saw him brought before magistrates.

Tributes have been paid to Mr Gurney, who grew up in Whitstable and went to the Sir William Nottidge School, now the Community College.

Writing on Facebook, his friend Sebastian O’Donnell said: “RIP me old pal. We had some times together. I’m proper gutted matey, really am.”

Louise Aldridge added: “Another gone too soon RIP.”

Mr Gurney had fallen into a spiral of drinking and taking drugs including heroin. In a 2013 he appeared in court after for causing a public nuisance by injecting substances into his groin near a children’s play park in the Dane John Gardens.

Magistrates later withdrew the charge after Mr Gurney said he had been injecting a painkiller because he had broken toes and a cracked ankle.

He was instead given a bind over to keep the peace.

Two years later he was handed a suspended prison sentence for pulling a knife on staff at Boots in the Whitefriars who had stopped him for stealing.

Mr Gurney admitted threatening and abusive behaviour and shoplifting when he appeared before magistrates.

He was jailed for 60 days suspended for a year with charges and costs.

The exact details of Mr Gurney’s death have not yet been confirmed. If it is believed his death was unnatural, an inquest will be conducted by the coroner.


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