Ex-solicitor died of hypothermia in Harrogate cabman’s shelter, inquest hears
Last updated Nov 21, 2023
A police cordon was erected after Richard Wade-Smith was found unresponsive.

A former Harrogate solicitor died of hypothermia in a cabman’s shelter on the Stray, an inquest has heard.

Richard Wade-Smith, 67, was found “unresponsive” in the distinctive green shelter on West Park, opposite Hotel Du Vin, at 7.15am on September 15.

Besides hypothermia, Mr Wade-Smith’s cause of death was also attributed to alcohol dependency, bipolar affective disorder, hypertensive heart disease and coronary artherosclerosis, the opening inquest in Northallerton heard yesterday.

He worked for a number of Yorkshire law firms and ran his own legal service from Wedderburn House. But his life descended into a downward spiral after a string of criminal convictions.

He was subject to a restraining order after ramming his car into his wife’s Harrogate home and subjecting her to “mental torture” on Boxing Day 2021.

He was later jailed for 10 months for breaching the order and was jailed again in June this year for indecent exposure on Stockwell Lane in Knaresborough.

The inquest was adjourned to a full hearing at a later date.

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