Grieving relatives say they need more answers over man’s death in Portsmouth park

(l-r) Tracy Clements, Tayla Rose and Carly Rose pictured lay floral tributes to Dave Mills in Victoris Park, Portsmouth. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (132065-764)

(l-r) Tracy Clements, Tayla Rose and Carly Rose pictured lay floral tributes to Dave Mills in Victoris Park, Portsmouth. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (132065-764)

Cladding being taken off Horatia House in Somers Town Portsmouth

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A GRIEVING granddaughter is demanding more answers over the circumstances surrounding the death of a loved one.

Carly Rose, 24, wants to know why authorities had problems trying to find her grandfather Dave Mills’ next-of-kin.

As previously reported, Mr Mills, 65, of Fratton, Portsmouth, was found slumped under a bush in Victoria Park on June 2 – but his wife Jennifer, 62, wasn’t told until six weeks later.

The police are reviewing why they weren’t told any sooner with HM Coroner.

Portsmouth City Council has now admitted it also had trouble trying to locate Mr Mills’ family once it was notified by police.

The authority said it found things difficult because Mr Mills only had a bank book and a keyring on him.

Carly, of Sedgeley Close, Somers Town, said: ‘I just feel like we haven’t really been given any help.

‘Though I know there are always going to be questions that can’t be answered, someone must have known his bank book was for Halifax and his address could have been found that way.’

There was also some confusion because the coroner’s office incorrectly told the council Mr Mills had died on May 2 – contrary to police records. Arrangements were then made to give Mr Mills a burial at Milton Cemetery.

Carly said: ‘On the day the coroner’s office said he died he was at a party for my daughter Tayla Rose’s second birthday.

‘He was fine – he was just his normal self.

‘Everyone seemed to get getting along fine.

‘I think the whole thing has been handled poorly.

‘We haven’t been given enough information and it feels like we’ve been fobbed off.

She added: ‘Everyone is still upset. We are still not getting answers so it almost feels like we have to give up.’

The council said there were about 50 cases a year where people died and next-of-kin couldn’t be traced.

Alan Cufley, head of environmental health, said: ‘As the local authority it is Portsmouth City Council’s responsibility to arrange funerals in circumstances such as these, where no next of kin comes forward to make funeral arrangements.’

At the request of the coroner, Portsmouth City Council made the necessary arrangements to provide a dignified and appropriate funeral for Mr Mills.

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