Date: 7 Apr 1957
Betris Vitols was found dead in a brook at Hipperholme on Sunday 7 April 1957.
He was a Latvian and had lived in a hostel. The Warden of the hostel said 'If he was not drunk he was very nice, but sometimes when he was drunk he made a bit of trouble', noting that he was usually drunk at the weekends.
A brickyard foreman that lived in Dam Head said that Betris Vitols had come to him on the morning of 21 March 1957 and had asked him for some work and that he told him to start the following day. However, he said that another foreman then told him that if he took him on that he was 'asking for trouble'. As such, the foreman said that he then sent for Betris Vitols and told him that there would be no work for him.
Betris Vitols was found dead in Red Beck by a farmer from Low Farm in Southowram who said that he was driving some cattle on a private road near the beck on the Sunday when he saw a body lying face down in it and informed the police.
The police said that when they arrived at the scene, they found Betris Vitols to be fully clothed but found no money in his pockets.
When they went to his room at the hostel they found 24 empty beer bottles and a number of cans.
An assistant pathologist said that his cause of death was asphyxia due to drowning.
When the Coroner summed up he said that it was possible that Betris Vitols had fallen into the beck whilst under the influence of drink or through an epileptic fit, which he was known to suffer, but said that there was insufficient evidence to support either possibility.
An open verdict of 'found drowned' was returned.
see Halifax Evening Courier - Thursday 11 April 1957, p6