Kane Walker 1987-2019: How did a childhood spent in the care system lead to the young man everybody loved dying under an overpass – and could a new law help?
“We’re here today because someone has touched your life,” says the priest. “You can say Kane’s life is a tragic story and he’s a lost soul. Perhaps you’re right. But the measure of a life is how many other lives it touches, and Kane’s life has touched many people’s lives. It’s touched yours, that’s why we’re here. Everything becomes yesterday’s news, but we can’t let that happen.”
The chapel is packed for Kane Walker’s funeral, and tensions are running high. Around 130 people have turned up at Perry Barr crematorium in Birmingham on a bright February day to pay their last respects. It is just over a month since he died, aged 31, and those at the service are angry. How could a young man be allowed to die of pneumonia and a drug overdose in a freezing city underpass? It wasn’t as if Kane was unknown to the police, outreach teams, the ambulance service or the local community. He had spent years sleeping in doorways and sheltering beneath bridges. Everybody knew Kane Walker – even if not by name. And it would seem, everybody loved him.
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