Woman laid dead in flat for whole week before neighbour reported foul smell

A woman laid dead in her flat for a week before a neighbour reported a "foul smell" and called the police.

Rebecca Marles, 46, was last seen by her neighbours on New Year's Eve and days later police received reports of an unusual smell coming from her flat.

On January 6 Met Police officers forced entry into her address in Kingston-upon-Thames, west London, and discovered her body.

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Police had received a concern for welfare report after she failed to return to her local pharmacy to get her next batch of prescribed medication, The Mirror reports.

It was around 2pm when Rebecca's body was found in a "decomposed state" on the kitchen floor.

Met Police officer PC Lee Deakin, who attended the scene, recognised Rebecca from a previous encounter and he was able to identify her body.

A post-mortem report revealed that she had most likely been lying there for close to a week having last been seen on New Year's Eve.

West London Coroner's Court heard how Rebecca suffered from a number of mental health issues, including paranoid schizophrenia, and was a regular methadone user.

Her GP Dr Peter Finney told the court that she was first diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 2013, and had previously suffered multiple drug overdoses.

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The court heard how she collected five days' worth of methadone on December 31, and a post-mortem examination and toxicology report revealed that she was likely to have overdosed on this medication, along with other prescribed drugs.

The medical cause of death was given as "respiratory depression", and the inquest concluded that Rebecca's death was a "drug-related death".

West London's assistant coroner Ivor Collett told the court: "It is clear that Miss Marles found herself in such sad and stark circumstances. She was a troubled person with a number of health problems, including drug dependency.

"She lived alone and she received support from the medical services. It seems that on December 31, 2021, she collected five days' worth of methadone. It appears likely that she took a sufficient quantity of methadone with a combination of prescribed drugs, which brought about her death.

"She probably took more than she should have in order to unsettle the effects that her medication would have on her normally. She was found face down on the floor, with marks on her head, which I believe indicate that she fell. Sadly she lay on the floor for around a week before she was found. Nothing suggests any intention, it appears to have been accidental."


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