COUNCIL officials made “several visits” to the flat in which the body of a Bournemouth nurse is believed to have lain unnoticed for seven years, Bournemouth Borough Council has revealed.
Anne Leitrim’s body was found lying under her bed at her home in Tolpuddle Gardens, Throop, on June 24.
The children’s nurse, who is believed to have been 58 when she died, was discovered by bailiffs who had been instructed to repossess the property.
A statement issued by Bournemouth Borough Council on behalf of Robin Ingleton, service director for strategic finance, said council tax payments were the only capacity in which Ms Leitrim was known to the council.
The statement read: “Our officers visited the property belonging to Anne Leitrim on several occasions in relation to the collection of overdue council tax.
“On these occasions, we spoke to a number of people living nearby to try to establish her whereabouts but all our enquiries and due diligence led us to believe she had left the Bournemouth area.”
The council said officers do not have legal powers to force entry to the property and when visits were made the officers were unable to see inside and did not notice anything “unusual”.
The statement continued: “It is very sad in these modern times that this can happen and that someone can lay in this situation for such a long time.”
Ms Leitrim had worked as a children’s nurse at Homerton University Hospital in London for seven years prior to her death.
Last week a spokesman from the hospital said “several attempts” were made to contact her and it was “not unusual” for staff to leave without giving notice.
He added: “At the time there was a very high turnover of nursing staff particularly in the area where she worked.”
On Thursday an inquest into Ms Leitrim’s death was opened and adjourned at Bournemouth Coroner’s Court.
After conducting a post-mortem consultant pathologist Vipul Foria recorded the cause of death as “unascertained”, the court was told. Sheriff Payne, coroner for Bournemouth, Poole and the East Dorset District, adjourned the inquest until October to allow further enquiries to be made.