Coventry & Warwickshire

Inquiry call over Mark and Helen Mullins deaths

Mark and Helen Mullins
Image caption The alarm was raised after Mark and Helen Mullins had not been seen for several weeks

A charity worker has called for a full investigation into the deaths of a vulnerable couple whose bodies were found in their Warwickshire home.

The deaths of Mark and Helen Mullins, from Bedworth, last Thursday, are being treated as "unexplained" by police.

Kervin Julien, from the Christian charity Anesis, knew the couple and said they struggled to get benefits.

He has called on the authorities to find out what happened so it does not happen to others in need.

He said the couple walked every Sunday to a soup kitchen in Coventry almost 12 miles away in order to have something to eat and pick up food bags.

'System is very unkind'

Speaking as part of a documentary about the soup kitchen in December 2010, Mr Mullins said: "My Helen is learning disabled, but it took her a very long time to get any kind of benefits or social security.

"The job centre decided that she couldn't sign on because she wasn't capable... she had no brain functions, no numeracy, literacy skills.

"But the incapacity people... wouldn't recognise her until she had been fully diagnosed - which meant month after month after month of specialists.

"So basically, we were caught in a Catch 22 situation. We were living on very little, hand to mouth.

"I think the system is very unkind. We have lost count of how many appeals we have had, we've got reams of paperwork and had help from the Citizens Advice Bureau.

"We've had to fight tooth and nail every step of the way to get benefits."

'Toxicology tests'

Mr Julien said: "We're living in a time when people are desperate, and these people weren't scroungers, weren't out stealing.

"They were trying to do the right thing, they were trying to do it the right way, and it seems like every corner they turned, they were met with a different obstacle.

"They (authorities) need to find out what went wrong and they need to make sure it never happens again."

Neighbours raised the alarm after the couple had not been seen for several weeks.

A Warwickshire Police spokesman said: "Post-mortem examinations have been conducted on the bodies of a man and a woman which were found at an address in Henson Road, Bedworth, on Thursday 4 November.

"The results are inconclusive and police are now waiting for toxicology tests to establish how the two people died.

"They are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths, which are being treated as unexplained at this time."

A spokeswoman for Warwickshire County Council said: "Warwickshire Police haven't formally identified the bodies found at Henson Road and it would be inappropriate for us to offer any comment."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites