Reclusive man could have been lying dead in his flat for months, says Colville Estate neighbour
- Credit: darci goodall
One month on after her neighbour was found dead in his home, a woman is fighting to have his fly-infested flat cleaned up.
Police forced their way into the flat of the man on March 2, after Darci Goodall reported that the postman hadn’t seen him for weeks.
It’s thought the man, who is thought to have been about 80, could have lain dead in Norris House on the Colville Estate in Hoxton for about two months.
Darci has contacted Hackney Council six times over the past month to complain the flat was infested with flies, but so far no one has come to clean up.
She’s been passed from the pest control department to repairs and back again. She believes the man was a leaseholder, but that the council – as the freeholder and building manager – should still take responsibility for cleaning it up.
“I don’t want the flies to come into my house,” she told the Gazette.
“I’m not talking about bees or flower flies. I’m talking about those big ones that eat dead people.”
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She had to take time off work as a teaching assistant at Mossbourne Academy this week to seal her own home with masking tape.
“I share a wall with this flat and I had a panic today in my job,” she said. “I kept seeing flies in front of my head. I just had a brand new kitchen put in and I said: ‘I don’t want those flies to go behind those cupboards.’ I had to close the vents.”
Now she’s posted fliers through her neighbours’ letterboxes to warn them to do the same.
“I’ll put the council’s email because the more people complain the more chance I have that they sort it out,” she said. “I’d have thought it’s a public duty. It’s unbelievable they haven’t done it so far.”
She was alerted to the fact that something might be wrong when the postman told her the man hadn’t been to collect his letters for two months.
“I didn’t knock at the door,” said Darci. “I just looked at the window and I saw the flies, and that’s when I decided to call the police.”
She added: “I don’t know for how long he was dead.
“I didn’t know him very well. He was a very private person. He didn’t speak to anyone and he didn’t even want the postman to come to his door.
“You feel shaken and upset when you know your neighbour has died in their home.”
A council spokesperson said: “When a property is privately owned it is not the council’s responsibility to clean, rather the relatives of the deceased. However if there is an infestation that is affecting other properties there may be remit for the council to carry out a clean of the property.
“We are currently investigating if this should happen in this case.”