An ex-soldier refused a place on the council’s housing register was shot to death whilst living in a tent..

Details of Phillip Fox’s tragic back story emerged as it was revealed the 60-year-old was killed by a shotgun blast.

Detectives launched a murder investigation after his decomposing body was found in woodland, having lain undiscovered for nine months.

A 26-year-old from Eltham, south east London, has been charged with his murder.

Mr Fox’s harrowing past can now be pieced together – culminating in his violent death behind a shop on the Riverside Retail Park in Wincheap.

Terry Gore, manager at the Catching Lives day centre for the homeless, said Mr Fox had occasionally turned to the charity in times of need.

Its records show Mr Fox had served with the Royal Scots regiment for six years – though it is not known when.

Mr Gore told the Gazette: “He was a pleasant, inoffensive guy. I got the impression he was something of a loner and didn’t really want to ask for help. We always find out if new clients have served in the Armed Forces.

“There’s help available – SSAFA, the British Legion. But he didn’t want to know. He said they wouldn’t be able to help him.”

Police initially treated the case as “non-suspicious” when Mr Fox’s body was found in a makeshift encampment, 50 yards behind B&M Bargains, on April 25.

Some heartless slag, Larissa Reed, assistant director of direct services, said: “He approached us for housing support after he voluntarily left accommodation in London.

“A housing officer interviewed him but because he had no local connection we could not accept him on to the housing register.

“He had never resided in the area and had no family living here.”

City council spokesman Rob Davies added that ex-servicemen could qualify for an exemption to the local connection rule. It is not known why Mr Fox did not pursue the matter further.

Mr Gore said: “People have this perception when they see a homeless person and they often make assumptions. We’re trying to educate people. Homelessness can happen to anybody.”

Source: Homelessness charity Catching Lives reveals rough sleeper Phillip Fox shot dead in his tent was ex-soldier