Neighbours' shock as man's body found in flat weeks after he died
- Credit: Submitted
People living in flats in Norwich have spoken of their shock after a neighbour's body was found weeks after he died.
People living at The Barn on Rawley Road in Bowthorpe were woken just before 4am on Sunday, July 25 by sounds of police shouting before breaking down a flat door to gain entry.
A next door neighbour had rang the police with concerns for the tenant's welfare after coming home in the early hours, noticing a "horrible smell" and seeing maggots crawling onto the landing.
Norfolk Constabulary confirmed they raided the flat and discovered the body of a man in his 70s, who is believed to have been there for some time.
A spokeswoman said officers had made initial enquiries, but that the death is not being treated as suspicious.
Tenant Craig Morrish, 33, said: "I was woken up on Sunday morning to loud shouts outside my front door. I could hear the police breaking in and opened the door to see about eight officers right in front of me.
"They said the man could have been there for at least eight weeks, and moved him into a private ambulance at maybe 7.30am."
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He said: "It's such a shame because the man who lived there was really friendly.
"He was an older bloke. I hardly knew him but he wasn't a bother — just kept himself to himself.
"Over the course of the pandemic he became a recluse. He wouldn't even open the door to deliveries.
"When I didn't see him for a while I didn't think anything of it."
He added: "When I first moved here I was really struggling for cash, and he heard me having to tell my little girl I couldn't get her the magazine she wanted. So he bought it for her instead on a couple of occasions.
"It was a really thoughtful gesture and I've never forgotten that."
Mike Sands, county councillor for the area, said it was an example of a "lonely death".
"We have always encouraged residents to look out for their neighbours, especially where neighbours may be elderly or vulnerable," he said, and added: "Unfortunately there are people who from time to time slip through the net."
A spokeswoman from landlord Broadland Housing said they were "very saddened" to hear about what happened to the man who was found dead, and that there were "no warning indicators something could be wrong".
"We would like to offer condolences to his friends and neighbours," she said.
They said they would ensure the property is cleaned and would contact tenants who might need additional support.
Adrian Wicks, 63, has lived below the man who died for the last 10 years.
He said: "It makes me feel sick what happened up there.
"The last time I saw him was probably around two months ago, but because he went out so rarely anyway I didn't think anything of it.
"He wasn't a bother to anyone. We never saw him.
"You'd think someone from Broadland Housing would have noticed and came to check on him."