Cause of death unknown for Stevenage man found ‘at least three weeks’ after he died

H.M. Coroner's Court

H.M. Coroner's Court - Credit: Archant

A coroner has been unable to determine the cause of death of a 93-year-old Stevenage man who lay dead in his house for ‘at least three weeks’ before he was found.

Desmond Bingham collapsed in the kitchen of his Hazelmere Road home, and his body was discovered on November 15.

Worried neighbours who contacted the police said they had not seen him for about five weeks.

They said they thought he may be in hospital but were not sure, and did not want to assume.

Police entered the house and Sgt Anthony Bean confirmed that it had not been broken into and that there were “flies on the inside of the door and windows”.


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Chief coroner for Hertfordshire Edward Thomas said: “I cannot say for certain when he died but it was at least three weeks before he was found.”

A pathologist’s report presented to the hearing was unable to determine the cause of Mr Bingham’s death because his body was so badly decomposed.

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It recorded that the dead man’s organs were ‘soft’ and that there was a ‘large number of maggots’.

There was no sign or trauma

or broken bones.

Medical records showed that Mr Bingham had a cardiac history, said Mr Thomas.

There were no friends or family at the inquest hearing at The Old Courthouse in Hatfield yesterday afternoon.

One neighbour told police he had lived there for 11 years and never seen friends or family visit Mr Bingham.

Giving his verdict, Mr Thomas said: “I think it is more likely than not that it was natural, and I will record a natural death.”

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