Home Kent News Pensioner’s body discovered in Gravesend home weeks after he died alone

Pensioner’s body discovered in Gravesend home weeks after he died alone

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Original article from Kent Live

The body of a Gravesend man who died alone in his house was initially thought to be suspicious.

Richard Collins had not been seen by his neighbours for at least two weeks before the discovery in Alexandra Road on July 31.

The 74-year-old was discovered by police after a care assistant became concerned for his welfare and alerted the authorities.

Read more: Young Gravesend man found dead in neighbour's flat had become a 'recluse' during pandemic

Assistant coroner Alan Blunsdon was unable to determine how Mr Collins came about his death, an inquest at County Hall in Maidstone heard yesterday (September 2).

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Detective Sergeant Matthew Charles, who gave written evidence at the inquest, said Mr Collins' death was "initially deemed suspicious", but police could not find any indication of third party involvement.

In a statement from August 19 he said care assistant to the homeless and vulnerable elderly, Anthony Harris, had contacted police after he became concerned about Mr Collins, who he had not been able to contact since August 9.

Kent Police spoke with Mr Collins' neighbours who had also not seen him for at least two weeks.

Officers were sent to his house where they entered via an unlocked back door.

The body of Mr Collins, who had lived at the property since 1974, was discovered in a "well established state of decomposition".

He was found to have a lump to his head, however DS Charles was confident this "did not present as an injury or wound inflicted by someone else."

He noted that Mr Collins' house was "cluttered with objects", including religious books, scriptures and clothing, and was "consistent with a hoarder's style of living".

DS Charles also noticed that there was no cooking apparatus in the kitchen and very few food items.

Mr Blunsdon concluded: "It is probable Mr Collins had been dead for some time before he was found. The state of decomposition prevented the post mortem finding a medical cause of death.

"I extend my deepest sympathies to Mr Collins' family upon their sad loss."

Original Article