Man's body found under hoarded piles of rubbish

A 63-year-old man has been found dead in his home under mounds of rubbish at his flat in Birmingham.

James Petit's body was found on Tuesday afternoon (14th January) surrounded by mountains of clutter in his home on Bickton Close, in the Erdington area, after concerns were raised over his welfare.

James fell down his staircase two years ago Credit: SnapperSK

Neighbours say that James was a former National Grid worker in Hinckley who lived at the property for around 40 years.

It's been reported that he suffered an accident two years ago when he tripped down his cluttered staircase and smashed through a glass door.

However, residents have said that he always appeared well turned out and was even seen getting into a car weeks ago.

Trucks full of rubbish had to be cleared out of the home. Credit: SnapperSK

Police had to get through layers of papers, bottles and rubbish to reach his body and called from emergency back-up.

Eventually, council workers filled a number of flat-bed trucks with litter, in order to remove the body from the building.

A West Midlands Police spokesman said the death is not being treated as suspicious and is being referred to the coroner.

"I went into his house 25 years ago and there was no room to move. It could only have got worse since then.” >

Unnamed resident
Environmental health officers raked litter down the stairs Credit: SnapperSK

Watch the full report from Charlotte Crosson this story below:

Charity organisations, such as 'Mind', provide guidance for people with hoarding habits.

Here are some of their tips to help people living with hoarding problems:

  • Keep a diary to help spot patters in what triggers hoarding behaviours and spot early signs.

  • Talk to someone. contact helplines such as the Samaritans or The Silver Line.

  • Peer Support can help people make connections with people with similar or shared experiences.

  • Find new ways to relax. Learn ways to cope with stress, spend time in nature and do activities you enjoy.

  • Look after yourself. Try to get enough sleep, think about your diet and try to do some physical activity.

  • Take small steps. Find ways to track your progress and make lists of what items you have and what you're going to do with them.

Read more: