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Dead man left in flat two weeks’ shocks neighbours

PUBLISHED: 00:14 14 May 2009 | UPDATED: 14:21 05 October 2010

A PENSIONER who died “neglected” in his home may have been left undisturbed for more than two weeks before he was found, his neighbours revealed this week. Police broke in to find John Duprat’s body in his one-bedroom council flat in London’s East End

EXCLUSIVE By Gemma Collins

A PENSIONER who died “neglected” in his home may have been left undisturbed for more than two weeks before he was found, his neighbours revealed this week.

Police broke in to find retired merchant seaman John Duprat’s body in his one-bedroom council flat in London’s East End.

They were called by housing officials after concerns by tenants at Bethnal Green’s Bentworth Court off Brick Lane.

Neighbours had complained to Tower Hamlets council last month about “a bad smell” from the flat on the fifth floor, they said.

NEGLECTED

Pensioner Doris Grossman, 82, told the East London Advertiser: “My neighbour reported a bad smell a couple of weeks ago. But the council just didn’t seem bothered and the smell got worse.

“He was neglected. It must have been a fortnight that he had been lying there.”

She added: “You could die in this building and no-one would ever know.”

But Town Hall bosses say they only have a record of a call made to their housing agency Tower Hamlets Homes last Wednesday (May 6) and immediately called police.

Mr Duprat had been in the London Chest Hospital in Bethnal Green in February for a heart bypass.

NOT SEEN

He was visited by a carer from the hospital’s NHS trust after arriving home —but was not seen again by his neighbours who thought he had gone to Scotland to see his mother.

A post mortem at Poplar mortuary revealed that 67-year-old Mr Duprat died from natural causes.

Another tenant, Jennie Scheffer, said: “It is a terrible thing to find out someone has been lying there for two weeks and we didn’t know about it.”

Tower Hamlets Homes insisted it only received a complaint last Wednesday when a housing officer went to Bentworth Court to investigate, who then called in police.

It is now investigating whether complaints were received at other areas of the organisation.


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