Bristol woman's body mummified in flat, inquest told

A woman lay dead in her flat for so long that her body became mummified, an inquest has heard.

The remains of Helena Pugh, 54, were found in the property in Tufton Avenue, Lawrence Weston, Bristol, by housing association officials.

They discovered her when they forced entry in February 2009 to evict her for not paying her rent for 18 months.

Tony Woodburn, assistant deputy coroner for Avon, recorded an open verdict as he could not say how Ms Pugh died.

The inquest heard on Tuesday that Mrs Pugh, who was a schizophrenic, often refused to allow mental health workers or officials from Guinness Hermitage Housing Association into her property, and rarely had any visitors.

Mr Woodburn said that because of the condition of Mrs Pugh's body, it was not possible to say whether she had taken her own life or died from natural causes.

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