Probe as body lies in flat for two weeks

AN INVESTIGATION has been launched after a vulnerable council tenant died but then remained undiscovered in her home for up to two weeks.The body of Jackie Woods was found after police broke down the front door of her first floor flat in Middle Way, Long Melford.

AN INVESTIGATION has been launched after a vulnerable council tenant died but then remained undiscovered in her home for up to two weeks.

The body of Jackie Woods was found after police broke down the front door of her first floor flat in Middle Way, Long Melford.

Concerned residents had previously contacted Babergh District Council to voice concerns about her welfare, and then report a smell coming from the flat.

But it was not until neighbours called the police that occupant Mrs Woods was found dead on her living room sofa. The cause of death has not been revealed.


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Last night district councillor Richard Kemp said it was a "catastrophe" that someone in need of care could lay dead for such a long period of time.

Mrs Woods, who was in her mid 40s, moved to Middle Way around three years ago, and over the years is believed to have had visits from various social care workers.

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In the weeks leading up to her death, neighbours had contacted Babergh District Council to register concerns about Mrs Woods' welfare, and then to complain about the smell coming from her flat. She was found dead on June 24.

Mr Kemp, who is responsible for the Long Melford ward, said: "I cannot believe that, in the 21st Century, we can somehow have a person that is in need of care and attention laying dead in her own flat for two weeks."

Mr Kemp has now asked that a council enquiry be conducted into the matter.

"I have asked the questions, and now I expect some answers," he said. "If errors have occurred, then the council needs to look at this to see whether lessons can be learned, to prevent the same thing happening again."

He added: "It would be easier to understand if this person had been living in isolation, but to be living in a block of flats where neighbours have already expressed their concerns is just totally ludicrous.

"Unfortunately this person was not known to me because local council members are no longer able to get involved in housing allocation for people within their own constituencies. But these are the people we are supposed to represent and I will not let this matter rest."

Suffolk police and Babergh District Council declined to comment on the matter.

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