Man lived with dead friends body as it was left to decay in bedroom for weeks

A man left the body of his dead friend to decay for weeks on his mattress while continuing on with his life.

Jamie Russell, 45, remained silent over the death of flatmate Mathew Scott, even when his family and police were searching for the missing man.

Mr Scott’s body was only found after maggots began dropping from the ceiling of the William Hill betting shop on Windsor Road in Neath.

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Swansea Crown Court heard that Mr Scott, 42, was reported missing on June 9 last year, Wales Online reports.

Police went to investigate after a man, who knew Mr Scott, said they saw him near flats on Windsor Road around June 7 to June 9.

The information prompted officers to visit the bookies on June 28, where police were told of the shop's trouble with maggots coming from above.

Sian Cutter, prosecuting, said officers went to the Coastal Housing flat and could see flies around the door frame.

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After no one came to the door, police were about to force entry when Russell came to the door.

The court heard police immediately noticed a "very strong smell" in the property and a number of candles had been placed in front of the door of the deceased’s bedroom.

The body of Mr Scott was found laying on a mattress and covered in a blanket.

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Russell, now of St John's Terrace, Neath Abbey, Neath, had previously pleaded guilty to preventing a decent and lawful burial when he appeared in the dock for sentencing.

He has two previous convictions for four offences of theft.

Judge Huw Rees said the offending was so serious that only immediate custody was appropriate.

Russell was sentenced to two years in prison, where he will serve up to half that period in custody before being released on licence to serve the remainder in the community.

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