An inquest has opened into the death of a Newcastle-based magazine editor who died while filming a documentary about the dangers of sleeping rough.

Lee Halpin, a 26-year-old amateur filmmaker, died two days into a week-long project during which he intended to highlight the struggle faced by the homelessness. He had set up a blog to document the project.

He had pledged to tackle the subject “fearlessly” in an attempt to be selected for Channel 4’s Investigative Journalism Programme.

Lee Halpin

Lee Halpin

His body was found in a boarded-up hostel in Newcastle last Wednesday. It’s feared he may have developed hypothermia as temperatures dipped below -4C.

A former creative writing MA student at Newcastle University, Halpin was a founding editor of regional culture magazine Novel – a tribute can be read here – and he had also had his own show on Radio Tyneside for almost a year.

His friends have now decided to finish the documentary. Jody Irving, from non-profit film company White Elephant Films, had been working with Halpin on the project.

He said: “I am asking people to come forward who would be willing to do interviews highlighting the tax cuts and the trouble and strife that homeless people have to deal with.

“The desire is to finish this film and make the difference Lee was trying to make, then proceed to raise money for the homeless charities of England.”