Man’s body not discovered for a month

THE table was set for one and the oven was still on when police found an Eastbourne man’s body - up to a month after he died.

Coroner Alan Craze said 60-year-old former bank worker Paul Dewhurst was ‘allergic to people’ and had no next of kin to inform of his death at his home in Chiltern Close on December 9, 2009.

After receiving a telephone call from concerned neighbours who had not seen Mr Dewhurst for four to five weeks, police forced entry to his property and found his body face down next to his dining room chair.

Potato waffles had burned to a cinder in the oven, which was still on.

Mr Dewhurst, who had worked at Lloyds TSB in Eastbourne, had no medical records and the coroner’s court believed he died from a coronary artery disease.

Mr Craze said, “I think he has been allergic to people basically and he has certainly been allergic to doctors. He has chosen not to access any help.”

Putrid milk and a newspaper dated November 9, 2009 were found at the address when police broke into the property.

Mr Craze added, “He was just going about his ordinary business, he had stuff in the oven and that seems to rule out the possibility that he had taken any tablets.

“There is absolutely no evidence pointing towards a suicide. So on an overwhelming balance of probability this is death by natural causes.”

Mr Dewhurst had made no will and, despite the coroner’s office searching for a next of kin, no living relatives were found.

Police Sergeant Jamie Thwaites said, “Neighbours described him as a loner and in 15 years they had never seen him with a visitor and knew of no next of kin.”