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Shock find at house of horror

HORRIFIED neighbours are furious that a dead dog has been left to rot in an empty house more than a month after it was first found.

HORRIFIC... The bodybag which still lies inside the house.
HORRIFIC... The bodybag which still lies inside the house.

HORRIFIED neighbours are furious that a dead dog has been left to rot in an empty house more than a month after it was first found.

The tenant, Kevin Phillipson, 58, died after suffering a heart attack and his body lay there for several weeks before being discovered.

It was removed last month, but the body of his pet terrier, which died of starvation and was found beside him, has been left behind.

The gruesome find - a yellow bodybag marked "clinical waste" - was made by horrified residents who peered inside after noticing hundreds of bluebottle flies swarming around windows of the house in Ward Street, Great Harwood.

Now they are demanding to know how this has been allowed to happen and why, despite several calls to the council, the gruesome scene has still not been cleaned up.

Furious Marian Rutter, whose blind 92-year-old mother lives next door to the privately-owned property, said she was terrified the bluebottles would start coming through the loft space into her house.

She said: "You can see the flies in all the windows, both front and back. It's repulsive, the whole house must be crawling with them."

"I have already seen a couple in my mother's house and I can't help thinking they've come from next door. It makes me cringe."

Mrs Rutter said residents were originally told the house would be cleaned this week, but were later informed that the work had been delayed until next Monday or Tuesday, due to access problems.

A private firm employed by the owner is due to carry out the specialised work.

Mrs Rutter said: "They're dragging their feet and the whole street is in uproar. It's only going to get worse, especially in this hot weather."

"You would have thought someone at the council would have followed it up when the body was first found. I complained to Environmental Health at the time."

"We have been told to keep our windows and doors closed when they clear the house. I dread to think what's going to come out."

Alan Barker, of nearby Grimshaw Street, said he thought the house would have to be fumigated and its contents incinerated, adding: "It is a real health risk and it is ridiculous nothing has been done."

"It all comes down to a lack of correspondence; no-one knows what anyone else is doing."

Mr Phillipson's sister-in-law Kathleen Monk, of Railway Terrace, said: "It is horrendous and I wish someone would do something about it. Kevin's death was bad enough - we don't need this as well."

A spokesperson for Hyndburn Council claimed the authority had only been only informed last Friday.

She said that as it was a private house, it was the owner's responsibility to clear it, although the council could take out an enforcement order against him if necessary.

Head of Environmental Health Steve Todd confirmed the clean-up had been delayed until early next week, adding: "We have visited the house and had a look and feel confident that there is no risk or nuisance to people from this property at the moment."

"While not ideal, we feel it is acceptable for it to be left until then."


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
District reporter
Beth Abbit
Court reporter
Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
Reporter specialising in communities
Garth Dawson
Photographer and columnist