A HOMELESS man found dead wanted to leave his old life behind, get himself free of drugs, beat his demons and follow his dreams.

David James, a housing officer at St Paul's Hostel in Tallow Hill, Worcester was one of those who tried to help popular 'free spirit' Ben Kreisler.

He described Ben as 'unique' and said he had incredible potential. 


Ben Kreisler's funeral due to take place this month

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Hostel staff tried to revive Mr Kreisler, who had battled drug and alcohol addiction, using a defibrillator and CPR but he could not be saved.

The 36-year-old was found unresponsive after a routine check at his hostel room on Monday, May 23.

Worcester News: MISSED: Ben Kreisler.MISSED: Ben Kreisler.

Mr James, who rushed to the hostel after learning what had happened, believed Mr Kreisler would beat his addictions and fulfil his dreams.

Mr James, 39, said Mr Kreisler had confided in him and told him: "I don't want to do this anymore."

He added: "He had had enough and wanted to leave behind that life.

"He was optimistic. He was committed to change. His intention was to become drug-free and alcohol-free."

Worcester News: LIFELINE: David James was one of many people who tried to help Ben Kreisler. Photo: James ConnellLIFELINE: David James was one of many people who tried to help Ben Kreisler. Photo: James Connell

Mr Kreisler's funeral service will take place at Hope Church in Lowesmoor, Worcester on Thursday, June 30 at 11.30am.

Mr James knew Mr Kreisler for 10 years becoming a 'constant' in his life from the day he left prison in March, 2020 'to the day he died'.

"I was always around and he confided in me," said Mr James.

Mr Kreisler gave Mr James a hug when he saw him at his favourite spot outside the city's Asda store where several tributes have been left.

Mr Kreisler also met Mr James's daughter, now aged five.

Mr James said: "Homeless people come with an assumption that they are these scary, drug-addicted criminals. They're just people, normal people. 

"They're not better or worse than anyone else. From what I have seen over the years people don't seem to get that. 

"I don't want my daughter to grow up thinking there's something negative associated with someone sleeping in a doorway."

There was a personal plan in place for Mr Kreisler who wanted to become a sculptor and had already employed his creative talents to turn drinks cans into ashtrays and ring pulls into jewellery.

Mr James described Mr Kriesler as 'unique', articulate, well-read and 'very anti-establishment, anti-authority'. 

He had his own theories and liked to debate. However, he said Mr Kreisler 'would let me challenge him' over his ideas.

Mr James added: "He was a character and he's going to be missed.

"I don't think he realised how liked he was."