Reclusive hoarder’s body found ‘mummified’ after being dead for year in home

A reclusive hoarder who barricaded himself at home for nearly 30 years was discovered by police dead in a mummified state next to his settee.

Father-of-four John Arthur Noble had not been seen by his neighbours for between 12-18 months and he had no contact with his brother for over a year, reports YorkshireLive.

The circumstances that led to his death at his house in Meltham, Huddersfield, were heard at an inquest where coroner Martin Fleming described Mr Noble's life as "very sad".

A paramedic that attended the 75-year-old's home told the inquest Mr Noble may have been dead for over 12 months when he was found.

The inquest heard that his front door was blocked by a large pole and the rooms were full of beer, food, and videotapes with several containers of urine also littered through the downstairs of the property.

His brother Roy gave evidence saying he had not seen his brother for over a year and when they did speak it was through the letterbox as he would not open the door to anyone apart from the Sainsbury's delivery driver.

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

He said his brother had problems with local youths who had often damaged the windows which had then been boarded up.

Mr Noble's son Gary also appeared to give evidence at the inquest and told the coroner that he had not been in contact with his dad for 29 years.

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"My father sadly pushed people away due to his drinking and also his mental health issues." he told the inquest.

"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.

"I would describe him as living in squalor and being a hoarder."

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 and said the postmortem 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.

He told Mr Noble's son Gavin: "The great sadness and tragedy here is that John felt the need to live his life in such a very sad way, to the exclusion of others. That is very sad indeed."

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