London, April 21 (ANI): According to an enquiry, a body lay undiscovered beneath a sofa in a flat in Bristol for almost 10 years.
The deceased, 73-year-old Denis Pring, had been living with a city council tenant Alan Derrick, who has learning difficulties.
Fearing that the police would take him away, Derrick did not report to the authorities about the death.
The medical examiner registered an open judgment into the death of Pring at the court’s hearing in Flax Bourton, near Bristol.
Pring, who is assumed to have died between April and June 1998, was a former warehouseman. According to the inquiry, he had been living illegally in the flat, reports The Telegraph.
He died when Derrick had invited him to stay at his place because he had no other shelter. But Derrick panicked due to his sudden death.
He then hid the body with cushions and two armchairs and kept living in the same flat in Bedminster, Bristol for the coming ten years.
Council officers visited Derrick’s house twice when neighbours complained of foul smell but Pring’s body was never found. They believed that the foul smell came from the toilet.
His skeleton was found in January 2008 when cleaners were sent to Derrick’s house after he was forced out of the house on the orders of a county court.
Jon House, Deputy Chief Executive of the council said, “more active intervention nine or 10 years ago”, and a ” healthier dose of common sense”, might have led to Pring”s body being found earlier.
“I apologise unreservedly both to Mr Pring”s family and to the residents of neighbouring homes for the distress they have endured,” House added. (ANI)