Man found hanging after alleged assault

St Mary's Churchyard
St Mary's Churchyard

A MAN was found hanged the day after a woman was allegedly sexually assaulted in a graveyard.

The body of Michael Leadbeater, 53, was found by a dog walker in a field off Gomersal Lane, Cleckheaton, at 8.37am on Monday.

He had been reported missing and the police helicopter had been out searching for him with police officers and neighbourhood policing teams, who scoured fields around the Shirley Grove area of Gomersal.

A police spokesman said Mr Leadbeater’s death was not being treated as suspicious and the case had been passed to the coroner’s office.

A coroner’s spokeswoman confirmed Mr Leadbeater, of Shirley Parade, Gomersal, had been found hanged and said a post-mortem examination had taken place.

The inquest into his death has not yet been opened.

It is expected to take place early next week.

The police spokesman said officers were ‘keeping an open mind’ about whether Mr Leadbeater’s death was linked to an allegation of a serious sexual assault on a woman in her 30s.

The alleged assault was reported to have taken place in St Mary’s Church graveyard, Spen Lane, Gomersal, in the early hours of Sunday.

Part of the churchyard was cordoned off with police tape on Sunday while forensic teams scoured the site for evidence.

The police spokesman said enquiries were ongoing but no arrests had yet been made.