A WOMAN lay dead in her flat for almost three years with the heating and TV on before her body was found.
Joyce Vincent's skeleton was surrounded by unopened Christmas presents and stacks of unopened mail had built up on her doormat.
The 40-year-old's body was so decomposed that the only way to identify her was to compare dental records with a holiday photograph of her smiling.
Ms Vincent was found lying on her back on the floor of the living room, which also doubled as a bedroom.
Police believe she probably died of natural causes in early 2003 but an inquest at Hornsey Coroner's Court today heard she was not found until January this year.
She had apparently been placed in the women's refuge accommodation as a victim of domestic violence, a spokesman for the coroner said.
Officials from Metropolitan Housing Trust only visited the bedsit in Wood Green, north east London, on January 25 because thousands of pounds of rent arrears had piled up.
When they drilled the door open they discovered stacks of unopened post, dating back almost three years and medication and food with February 2003 expiry dates.
Pathologist Dr Simon Poole told the inquest he had been unable to establish the cause of death because the remains were "largely skeletal", but police do not regard the circumstances as suspicious.
ok, this story is sad. i get it but on the upside you dont have to pay rent for three years here. i mean who the hell can get away with not paying the rent for three years? thats the amazing part of this story. thats a landlord whos very understanding. do you think he went afterthe estate for back rent? i mean hes been housing her corpse for those years.
this should get your hump day off to a rousing start.