Daughter wants answers after father’s death

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A DAUGHTER is demanding answers as to how her father died in squalor in a warden-controlled flat.

Stuart Cutler was found dead at Reading House, in Seafront, Hayling Island, on October 24, last year.

The former graphic designer had an alcohol problem and suffered personal setbacks which led to him becoming homeless.

Mr Cutler, 64, who used a wheelchair, was found accommodation at Reading House run by Southern Housing Group.

An inquest in Portsmouth yesterday heard how residents raised the alarm when they had not seen him for some time. Friend Graham Woodley was contacted by Southern and asked to check up on him.

When he arrived at the flat he was met with a terrible stench and could see post piled up. Police found Mr Cutler’s heavily decomposing body. The flat was filthy with empty bottles and rubbish scattered around. The flat was full of flies and Mr Cutler’s canary was dead in its cage.

At the hearing, PC Simon Smith said he was told by staff Mr Cutler had received a welfare call from Southern on October 20. But Mr Cutler’s daughter, Tamzin, said this was denied by staff in the weeks after her father’s death.

Staff, she claims, also told her that her father was seen at a quiz night at the home on October 8 but other residents claimed no such quiz night took place.

Miss Cutler said she was also told by Southern that on October 8 her father formally requested no more welfare calls which his friends said they did not believe and Assistant Coroner Robert Stone also said he found ‘unlikely’. Southern says this is a matter of record.

A shopping receipt dated October 8 is the only evidence that Mr Cutler was still alive then.

A post-mortem revealed Mr Cutler died from a reaction to alcohol which affected his heart and liver. Mr Stone recorded a verdict of death by misadventure.

But Miss Cutler, who lives in France, said she is unhappy with Southern, adding: ‘All I’ve ever wanted was answers and Southern has refused to give them to me.’

Regional director Troy Francis said the firm had expressed its deepest sympathies to Mr Cutler’s family and ‘followed appropriate procedures following an internal investigation into the matter’.

He said following Mr Cutler’s death a different provider had been appointed to carry out the welfare calls to residents.