Newport woman 'ignored housemate body for taxi account'

A woman kept quiet about her housemate's death for several days so she could use a taxi account in his name, a court has heard.

Lisa Collins, 35, of Newport, admitted preventing a lawful and decent burial from taking place and was detained under the Mental Health Act.

Police called at the house and found Collins in the front room and 65-year-old Peter McDonald's body in a bedroom.

Mr McDonald had been dead for at least five days, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

The body was discovered in March this year.

Prosecutor Meirion Davies said: "Inside the bedroom, the body was seen by a police officer - it was badly decomposing.

'Great deal of distress'

"The door was only open about one inch but the police officer had seen all he needed."

Pathologists were unable to establish a cause of death for Mr McDonald but he probably died of natural causes, the court heard.

Judge Neil Bidder told her: "It is almost certain Peter McDonald died of natural causes.

"But you may have gained a small economic benefit from hiding the fact of his death and using a taxi account in his name.

"What you did was not only illegal but repugnant to most right-thinking people in society.

"You will have caused his family a great deal of distress that may last for a long time."

Another former housemate had admitted the same offence and had been jailed for 10 months, the court heard.