No clean up for weeks after elderly man found dead in Springfield flat

Flies in the hallway outside the man's flat

Flies in the hallway outside the man's flat - Credit: Archant

Neighbours of an elderly man found dead in his home are still waiting for authorities to clean up – three weeks after his decaying body was retrieved.

The Hackney Council tenant in his 80s is believed to have been laying dead for a week before police kicked his door in at Lea View House, Springfield, following reports of a foul smell.

But that was in March and until last week the stench was still present throughout the block, and dead bluebottles covered the hallway outside his flat.

A spokesman explained the council had been unable to access the property to clean it because police had the keys, but after being given them on Tuesday it was arranging a fumigation.

But neighbours have questioned why it has taken so long, saying it showed disregard for their deceased neighbour.


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Beatrice Byrne, of the Lea View House Tenants and Residents’ Association, said she had been in touch with the council and police to no avail.

“This block is 75 per cent council and there are a lot of elderly men living on their own. Is there no procedure?” she said. “If there is, it’s clearly not good enough.”

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The man is not believed to have had any family and is yet to be formally identified.

“I never saw him with friends or family,” added Beatrice.

“He would put the bins out and go to the shop – the most active I saw him was when he gave it out to some kids upstairs for being noisy.”

Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said children had been playing among the flies and the stench in the hallway.

“It stank and there were flies everywhere,” he said. “There was no effort to clean up. This is a really nice block.”

A spokesman for Hackney police said the process of identifying the body had taken longer than hoped because of the condition it was in.

He said he had been in touch with the council to arrange a “deep clean” of the flat.

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