THE family of a York man who has been missing for more than a year have succeeded in a legal application to have him presumed dead, Peter Lawrence has revealed.

Edward Leigh Machin, 39, formerly of Glencoe Court in York, was reported missing in January last year after he failed to log on for a webchat with a friend and did not turn up for work.

Police said he was dropped off by a taxi at the White Horse Inn at Bempton, near Bridlington, and house-to-house checks took place at the time, along with searches by volunteers and rescue officers. Police believed he had travelled to Scarborough by train.

The Press revealed in December that a public notice had been posted in local newspapers, declaring that a claim had been issued in the High Court for a declaration that Mr Machin was presumed to be dead. Any person with an interest could apply to the court to intervene in the matter within 21 days, said the notice.

Mr Lawrence, who was involved in a successful campaign for new legislation to be introduced last autumn, allowing a presumption of death to be declared, revealed at yesterday’s press conference that the application by Mr Machin’s family had been heard in January.

He said an order was made giving the family a certificate of the presumption of his death. “That is what this family wanted and that is what they got,” he said.

“I became involved as the North Yorkshire representative of the national charity Missing People and the judge, very kindly, apparently thanked me for my assistance.”