Wanted: Relatives to share in traffic island tramp's fortune
Thursday 06 March 2008
The hunt is on for relatives of a bearded hermit who lived on a traffic island for three decades, after it emerged that he left thousands of pounds in untouched pension savings.
Josef Stawinoga, popularly known as "Fred the tramp", built up a cult following in Wolverhampton, where he lived, and beyond after staying on a ring-road in the city for 35 years.
More than 10,000 members have signed up to pages devoted to Mr Stawinoga on the social networking website Facebook.
But now the the treasury solicitor – who deals with property without an apparent owner or claimant – is seeking relatives of the hermit, who died at the age of 87 without leaving a will. Claimants will need to prove their connection to him.
Mr Stawinoga was tolerated by authorities because he suffered from a phobia of confined spaces. At one point council officials moved in to change his tent and remove rubbish he had amassed around it, fearing it posed a health hazard. It also provided the hermit with meals on wheels.
If no relatives are traced the Government will keep the money and put it towards the public purse. A spokesman from Wolverhampton City Council said: "The treasury solicitor's office has the responsibility of tracing next of kin. If it determines there are none, Mr Stawinoga's estate will return to the state."
Mr Stawinoga is believed to have moved to Wolverhampton in the 1950s and worked at a steelworks in the city before moving on to the traffic island.
- 1 Caitlyn Jenner car crash: Driver who died in collision sued by surviving passengers for $18.5m
- 3 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 5 The 20 toughest job interview questions in the world
Caitlyn Jenner car crash: Driver who died in collision sued by surviving passengers for $18.5m
Pictures show young Palestinian girl biting Israeli soldier trying to detain boy during West Bank protests
Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn voters most likely to believe 'world is controlled by a secretive elite'
£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...