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Monday, June 27, 2022

Dad-of-four recluse found ‘mummified’ after lying dead for over a year inside his barricaded home

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A DAD-OF-FOUR was found “mummified” after his body had been left for more than a year barricaded in his derelict house.

After splitting with his partner, the 75-year-old became a recluse, having not seen his son for nearly 30 years.

His barricaded house were he had been left dead for more than a year was derelict


His barricaded house were he had been left dead for more than a year was derelictCredit: MEN Media

Neighbours alerted police after not having seen John Noble for around a year and a half.

A paramedic estimated that Mr Noble may have been dead for more than a year when he was found due to the “mummified” state of his body.

An inquest heard that the front door of his home in Huddersfield was blocked by a large pole that formed a makeshift barricade.

A police officer found Mr Noble’s body next to a settee.

The officer said: “John was in a state of what I can only describe as mummification.

“I conducted a search of the property to find many rooms full of items of food, beer and videotapes.

“I went through the house where there were several containers with urine in them. These were all downstairs around the house.

“At the front door, he had placed a long wooden pole inside the property to block the door shut.


“There were piles of mail dated 2020. The food in the property was dated 2019 and 2020 which said to me it had been there for some time.”

Detectives were called in and later ruled out any suspicious circumstances.

Neighbours told police they only saw him when collecting shopping from the delivery man at the front door.

One neighbour stated that she had raised concerns about Mr Noble several years ago but nothing was done as he was deemed to have capacity, the inquest was told.

Mr Noble’s brother, Roy, who attended the house after his brother’s body was found, told police he had seen his brother a year ago and he would not answer the door to anyone.

Roy said he had to talk to his brother through the letterbox. He said his brother had problems with local youths who had often damaged the windows which had then been boarded up.

Neighbours hadn't seen Mr Noble for more than 12 months


Neighbours hadn’t seen Mr Noble for more than 12 monthsCredit: MEN Media

Roy said his brother had split up with his partner 30 years ago and had then become a recluse and isolated himself more.

In a statement, Mr Noble’s son Gary said he was estranged from his father.

“I had not seen him for 29 years. My father sadly pushed people away due to his drinking and also his mental health issues.”

He said his father, a former labourer, hadn’t worked for many years.

“I cannot offer much information about my father as we have had no contact for the last 29 years.

“My mother and father split up over 30 years ago and when they first split I did try to maintain a relationship with him but all he ever did was push me away and that meant having no relationships.

He saw no one but the Sainsbury’s delivery driver

Gary Nobleson

“From what I have learned since my father’s death is that he was a recluse. He never really saw anyone and he had no friends.

“The neighbours did try to help him and he even pushed the neighbours away.”

Gary said his father had also previously told social services “where to go”.

“My father didn’t see anyone at all except the Sainsbury’s delivery driver. He was a heavy drinker and a heavy smoker and he had a very poor diet from what I could see when I went to clean his house.

“The walls were stained yellow and there were hundreds of empty cigarette packets.

“I would describe him as living in squalor and being a hoarder. My father had no contact with anyone I know of and I am unaware of anyone being able to offer any information about his life.”


A report by Mr Noble’s GP said: “Mr Noble has a long history of mental health difficulties dating back to the 1970s.

“However, he does not seem to have been on any medication pertinent to his mental health for about 20 years.”

The coroner, Martin Fleming, recorded a narrative conclusion. He said a post mortem examination was unable to establish the cause of death because of the advanced state of decomposition.

Mr Fleming said: “Very sadly in this case, after the split with his wife some 30 years ago John became something of a recluse, shunning family, friends and neighbours, along with any possible help from doctors and social services.

“I’ve heard it was extremely uncommon for his neighbours to see him as he very rarely, if ever, left his home address.”

Mr Fleming added: “There is clear evidence that John was not looking after himself and self-neglecting.”

The coroner added: “This is such a sad case. It’s clear that John needed help. It’s clear he was self-neglecting but it remains unknown if this caused or contributed to his death.”

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