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29.03.19

Man’s body not found for weeks after council padlocked his flat

Aberdeen City Council has pledged to make changes after a man’s body wasn’t found for weeks inside a flat the authority had padlocked.

The body of 32-year-old Michael Stewart was discovered in his property after police broke into his flat on 8 March.

Stewart was reported missing by his family on 7 January, and his body is believed to have been in the flat in Balnagask Avenue for several weeks after it was padlocked on 12 February.

Aberdeen City Council said the flat had been padlocked after it was reported as being insecure, and that procedures relating to securing properties that are believed to be vacant would now be updated.

The spokesperson said: “We have carried out a review of the council's actions and can confirm the property was locked in February following an insecure external door being reported.

“We are committed to updating our procedures in relation to securing properties that are believed to be vacant.”

The authority said it continued to liaise with Stewart’s family and provide support, and added that a report has been submitted by Police Scotland to the Procurator Fiscal.

The death is not being treated as suspicious.

His mother Jane Grant said he suffered from epilepsy and was unable to work, and stated she was “disgusted” at Aberdeen City Council, adding that she intends to file a negligence claim against the authority.

She told Sky News: “I'm disgusted at the council, utterly disgusted, because they knew of my son's epilepsy and illnesses, and they also stated that he had a social worker.

“They said they posted Michael a letter while he was in temporary accommodation saying he had been offered permanent accommodation. He never replied to it.

“So if they knew that my son suffered with all these illnesses and problems, why did someone not go up to his door before this?”

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