Water of Leith victim had survived cleaver attack

Henry Archibald, 40, who was found dead in the Water of Leith on Monday after what is believed to be a tragic accident. Pic: Malcolm McCurrach

Henry Archibald, 40, who was found dead in the Water of Leith on Monday after what is believed to be a tragic accident. Pic: Malcolm McCurrach

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A CYCLIST found dead in the Water of Leith had survived a meat cleaver attack two years ago, it has emerged today.

Henry Archibald, 40, was discovered face down in the river on Monday morning. A bicycle was also in the water a short distance away. It is thought he died in a tragic accident. The scene is close to a sharp bend and locals have speculated that he may have lost control of his bike.

Henry Archibald. Picture: comp

Henry Archibald. Picture: comp

In March 2012, Mr Archibald was attacked with a meat cleaver at his home at Hut House, Moat Drive, in Slateford.

He suffered cuts to his back, chest and face. He was found lying in his flat gasping for breath and was rushed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where he had to spend time in intensive care.

Two men were later charged with attempted murder.

A neighbour described Mr Archibald at the time as “a quiet man that just goes in and out”.

A large section of the Water of Leith was sealed off for several hours after Mr Archibald’s body was found by a member of the public walking in the area on Monday.

He was found in shallow water close to Stenhouse Industrial Estate.

Police dive teams waded through the waters and found a bicycle near where the body was lying.

Police are treating his death as unexplained and have not said whether he drowned or died as a result of a fall.

Bryan Gardner, a salesman who had been working in the area, described seeing him lying face down in the water close to the embankment. He 
said: “His head was right on the edge of the embankment but wasn’t completely under the water, and his bike was right out in the middle of the Water of Leith.

“From the way he was lying, I am guessing that it was late at night and he didn’t see the bend.”

It is not known how long the body had lain in the water next to the busy path which is on the national cycle route.

A police spokesman said: “Inquiries are ongoing to determine the circumstances surrounding his death.”