Body found of missing British backpacker

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The body of a missing British backpacker who vanished in Australia 12 days ago was found today - less than a mile from where he disappeared.

The body of a missing British backpacker who vanished in Australia 12 days ago was found today - less than a mile from where he disappeared.

Former Liverpool University student Sean Kennedy was last seen on July 29 when he left a concert in the centre of Sydney following a row with fellow revellers.

His body was found in Sydney Harbour - a short walk from where Mr Kennedy was last sighted - by Sydney Water Police earlier today.

New South Wales police spokesman Norris Smith said initial inquiries indicated there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the 22-year-old's death.

Mr Kennedy, from Northampton, was last seen being asked to leave the Metro Theatre by security guards after getting involved in a verbal row with other clubbers.

He had gone to watch the Irish rock band Ash with his girlfriend Catherine Rowden and two other friends.

They became separated and it is understood Ms Rowden thought her boyfriend of 18 months had gone home.

The pair had been in Australia on a working holiday since February and were planning to travel up the east coast before heading to Asia.

Following his disappearance, Ms Rowden, also 22, said it was "very, very out of the ordinary" for Mr Kennedy to lose touch with her or his family for such a long time.

"Sean is a great boyfriend and reliable person," she said. "It is so out of character for him to go the night without contacting me."

Members of the band Ash made a personal appeal for any information about the missing tourist a week after he disappeared.

Today NSW spokesman Mr Smith said: "Mr Kennedy's body was located at 7.30am on Tuesday 10 August. He was found in Cockle Bay, Pyrmont.

"A post-mortem examination will be conducted to determine how he died. Initial inquiries suggest there were no suspicious circumstances."

Mr Smith said a special strike force had been set up to investigate Mr Kennedy's death and inquiries were on-going.

Surry Hills Crime Manager, Detective Inspector Dave Egan-Lee, said the post-mortem examination would officially determine how he died, but that it looked like an accident.

"That's an assumption (at this stage) but it would appear - and we'd like to think - that's the way (his death) has occurred," he said.

The backpacker's parents, Donal and Denise, also from Northampton, travelled to Sydney last week to help in the search for their son.

Mrs Kennedy said their lives had been turned upside down since hearing he had disappeared.

"He's a gentle giant who wouldn't want to hurt anyone," she said. "We both spoke with him on the Saturday before his disappearance (and) he was in great form."

Mr Smith said the family had been informed of today's discovery and requested that their privacy be respected.

A Foreign Office spokesman confirmed that Mr Kennedy's body had been found by Sydney police.

He said the family were being offered support from consular staff.

The spokesman would not comment on details of repatriation, but said assistance would be offered once all the police inquiries had been carried out.