A man was found dead at his home among a mountain of rubbish so big that specialist teams had to be called into retrieve his body.
The body of James Pettit, 63, was only discovered at his home in Birmingham after three truck-loads of junk were removed by council workers.
Pictures from the scene show the narrow staircase littered with piles of paper, bottles and other detritus. A source said: ‘It was ten times worse upstairs. The police said it was too dangerous and unsafe to move the body. They had to call for assistance to clear a path.’
Mr Pettit, a former National Grid worker from Hinckley, Leicestershire, lived at the property for around 40 years, neighbours said. Emergency removals required to find hoarder found dead at home.
He suffered an accident two years ago when he tripped down his cluttered stairs and smashed through a glass door. Yet neighbours said Mr Pettit always appeared in public well turned out and just two weeks ago he was seen getting into a Bentley.
One resident said: ‘The strange thing is that he always appeared well-dressed when you did see him. You’d see him walking down the street with his dry cleaning. ‘That was the thing that always struck me – that he would get his clothes dry cleaned and then go back into that flat.
‘I went into his house 25 years ago and there was no room to move. It could only have got worse since then.’ Police remained at the scene as piles of junk were removed from the building.
Apparently, he was paid well. ‘He would get taxis everywhere. Only a couple of weeks ago I saw him getting into a Bentley.’ Police were called to the scene on Tuesday and flat-bed trucks were soon brought in to remove rubbish.
A West Midlands Police spokesman said: ‘The death is not being treated as suspicious and has been referred to the coroner.’