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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 April, 2005, 18:42 GMT 19:42 UK
Mozart tribute to murdered tramp
Philip Jones
Mr Jones was probably murdered in a row over drink, the court heard
A church memorial service for a homeless man who was murdered has heard of his love of classical music.

Around 150 people attended the service at St David's Church in Neath for Philip Jones, 66, who died last year.

He used to visit to the church to hear the choir, who sang a Mozart religious aria in his memory.

Last week a 21-year-old man was jailed for life at Swansea Crown Court for the murder in July 2004. Mr Jones' body was found on waste ground, where he lived.

The Reverend Stephen Ryan, the rector of Neath, said: "He loved classical music, all sorts of music in fact.

"He used to have a Walkman which he listened to and he would come into the church sit and listen to the choir sing."

Hymns in Sunday's service included The Lord is My Shepherd, Cwm Rhondda, and To God be the Glory.

Mr Ryan said that the highlight of the service was the choir's rendition of Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus.

He said: "It was quite emotional for quite a few people who had tried to help and care for him.

Alan Payne
Payne made a last-minute admission of Mr Jones' murder

"Like a lot of people who live unconventional lives, they're often not easy to help."

A collection was made for the Salvation Army and Shelter Cymru, two organisations which ha cared for Mr Jones.

Mr Jones, who had lived rough for several years, was known to visit churches around the area and representatives of different churches and chapels attended the service, as did Neath's mayor.

Mr Ryan said: "It went very well. It was much appreciated by the members of Mr Jones' family who were there."

Mr Jones' body was found on 23 July 2004 near a wooden hut where he used to sleep on the outskirts of Neath, near the A465 flyover.

The court heard that Alan Payne, from Ystradgynlais, was believed to have killed him with an axe in an argument over a drink.

Police said Mr Jones' death brought the largest public response ever to a murder case in south Wales.


SEE ALSO:
Man, 21, jailed for tramp murder
13 Apr 05 |  South West Wales
Two remanded over marsh death
07 Aug 04 |  Wales
Appeal in marsh murder inquiry
27 Jul 04 |  South West Wales


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