The skeleton of a man has been found in the lounge of his city centre flat – almost two years after his death.
Simon Allen’s remains were discovered when deep cleaners went to his home in Leopold Road, Brighton.
The skeleton of Mr Allen, who is believed to have been 50 when he died, was discovered dressed only in socks lying behind his armchair in the living room of the flat on November 19.
Eleven days earlier, his landlord, housing association Affinity Sutton, and bailiffs went into the first floor flat after numerous rent bills went unpaid, building up “significant arrears”.
But they did not notice Mr Allen’s body. After his inquest his inquest on Wednesday coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley said she was “particularly saddened” that a relatively young man had not been missed.
She could not discover a cause of death and recorded an open verdict, adding it was believed Mr Allen died in December 2010.
Simon Allen, whose body was found in his flat by cleaners
She added: “There is no suggestion that anybody should, or could, have done anything different. It seems that he chose his somewhat reclusive lifestyle.”
No family or friends could be traced and there were few personal items in the flat, which Mr Allen moved into in 1999.
Paul Hanscomb, 45, who lives in a ground floor flat said: “He was a heavy drinker. I used to hear him banging around in the hallway and up the stairs when he came home at night.
“But we all keep ourselves to ourselves here and we thought he’d moved out.”
Chris Dunbar, who also lives in a first floor flat, moved in after Mr Allen died.
He said: “It was a shock. I think it’s quite sad really and maybe should have been investigated a bit sooner.”
He said there was a slight musty smell in the hallway before Mr Allen’s body was discovered, but “nothing strong”.
CID Officers from Sussex Police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Mr Allen’s death.
Tracy Evans, head of housing in the south for Affinity Sutton, said: “We were deeply saddened to hear of the death of Mr Allen.
“There was no indication that there were any problems nor that he had any additional support needs and he was a model tenant.”
Mr Allen was one of a growing number of people in Brighton to have a welfare funeral – when they have no known family or friends to arrange the burial or cremation.
The number of welfare funerals in Brighton has more than doubled in the past five years, from 36 in 2006/7 to 79 in 2011/12.
See the latest news headlines from The Argus:
- Frustration boils over as train passengers struggle to get home
- Villagers thwart suspected jewellery thief by chasing him down the street and grabbing him
- Goldstone glory days to be remembered 20 years on
- £20m parking profit but drivers spend 16 working days a year in traffic
- Firefighters to respond to emergency ambulance calls in pilot project