Police searching for a man who went missing from Bradford Royal Infirmary nearly two weeks ago have retrieved a body from the River Aire in Shipley.

Stephen Bull, 56, was last seen leaving the hospital on Tuesday, April 5.

He had been taken there by ambulance after being taken ill in a shop in Bradford Road, Shipley, but left hospital before he could be treated.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman last night said that the body found on Thursday evening could be that of Mr Bull. However, the spokesman said formal identification had not been completed last night.

Police were also awaiting the results of a toxicology report before an inquest is opened into the man’s death, she said.

A member of the public who had been out walking his dog on Thursday evening saw the body in the water.

The walker alerted police who went to the scene, not far from Nab Wood Cemetery and close to a railway bridge that spans the river at Hirst Wood.

Paramedics attended and certified the man dead at the scene, but the body was not removed from the water until early yesterday as investigations began.

A post-mortem examination by a forensic pathologist took place yesterday but no cause of death was established.

The police spokesman said it was not being treated as suspicious.

Officers cordoned off a large section of the riverbank to allow investigations to be carried out.

Across the river, an officer could be seen standing guard at a point where an area of woodland meets the riverbank.

Before being taken to Bradford Royal Infirmary, Mr Bull, of New Farnley, had been admitted to St James’s Hospital, Leeds, but he had also left there before being treated.

Shortly after midnight the next day, he attended at Leeds General Infirmary but left before being seen by staff.

He was described as white, about 5ft 2in with a bald head, no teeth and tattoos of a star and an anchor on his face.

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