James Ihaka

James Ihaka is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Mystery over death of elderly man

Police hope autopsy on body found in Hamilton house will shed light on death

Police set up a cordon round the house after the body was found. Picture / Christine Cornege
Police set up a cordon round the house after the body was found. Picture / Christine Cornege

Police hope the results of a post mortem examination may shed light on the death of an elderly Hamilton man who was found in his bed with a head wound.

Reginald Bar'e, who police said was 79, could not be revived when he was found lying in his bed at the Forest Lake home he shared with his wife, Linda Bar'e.

Police had set up a cordon and scene guard around his Matai St home that was still in place yesterday with forensic teams investigating.

Neighbours said Mr Bar'e was a harmless and kind man in poor health. He was unsteady on his feet and had been in and out of hospital over the past year.

Jackie Kilburn, who lived across the road from the couple for more than two years, said she would often take food to Mr Bar'e.

She said it was not unusual to see an ambulance in his driveway after he had a fall.

"The sad thing was there was never anyone keeping an eye on him. He was in and out of hospital but inthat whole time I think I wouldonly ever have seen two health workers go to their home.

"They really were neglected, both of them. They should have been in care."

Another neighbour, who only gave her first name, Anne, said Mr Bar'e used a walking frame.

She said he had only recently been discharged from hospital for what was probably an "age-related condition".

"He was just a nice old man but he had really gone downhill in the last year, that's for sure," she said. "You could hear him yelling out occasionally but he really was quite harmless."

- NZ Herald

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