Remains of retired vicar lay wrapped in blankets for nearly three years

Published date: 15 January 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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THE body of a retired vicar lay in a house for nearly three years before it was discovered, an inquest heard.

Police went to the home of the Rev Basil Bevan on October 5 to check on his wellbeing after neighbours, who had not seen the 85-year-old for some time, raised the alarm.

After speaking to Mr Bevan’s wife Pauline, officers went inside the house to find “mummified remains”, coroner Dewi Pritchard-Jones said.

There were binbags piled high in the house and Mr Bevan’s body was found wrapped in blankets in a bedroom.

His remains were not capable of visual identification and DNA was taken in the hope of identifying him.

Mr Bevan lived in Llandegfan, Anglesey. He was vicar of Treuddyn between 1980 and 1985 and rector of Llanfynydd between 1985 and his retirement in 1989.

At an inquest at Llangefni, Anglesey, yesterday, Mr Pritchard-Jones said: “Neighbours had commented to a police officer that they hadn’t seen the Rev Basil Bevan for some time and there was concern regarding his welfare.

“After some time Mrs Pauline Bevan came out of the property and there was a discussion with the police officers present. She appeared to be unwell and was taken to hospital.

“The police then went into the property, being concerned regarding Mr Bevan’s welfare. When they went inside the property they found it was in a considerable state of disarray. On searching it they came across mummified human remains. The remains were not capable of visual identification.”

Samples were taken for DNA matching but the vicar had no children.

Police were able to trace a brother and he co-operated by producing samples, but Mr Pritchard-Jones said the sample from the remains was so poor the testing wasn’t conclusive.

The coroner said in interview Mrs Bevan, who was not in a fit state to give evidence at the inquest, told him that her husband died on November 11, 2010, the day before his 86th birthday.

He said: “Mrs Bevan told me she and her husband had been living at Bryniau Duon, Llandegfan, since about 1998. She also said her husband had suffered from heart problems.

“She said Mr Bevan appeared to suffer a heart attack on November 11, 2010. He suffered chest pains and some hours later he died. For reasons that are not matters of concern for an inquest the body was allowed to remain at the property.”

Home Office pathologist Dr Brian Rodgers said that inside the house there was evidence of hoarding and bin-bags piled up to five feet deep.

Mr Bevan, who had been wearing a black fleece, trousers, slippers, a T-shirt and socks, and wrapped in blankets, was found in a bedroom.

There was so much rubbish only part of his face and upper body could be seen.
Dr Rodgers said a number of cats were rescued.

“Clearly the remains were in a very poor state to say the least,” the pathologist said.
But Dr Rodgers said the cause of death was not suspicious.

The coroner recorded the cause of death as heart disease and the verdict was natural causes.

The remains could now be disposed of, Mr Pritchard-Jones added.

No family were present for the hearing.

Mr Bevan was believed to have been ordained in 1955 and spent most of his career in Wales, serving in the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon before moving to North Wales in 1978, where he served in Llanferres, Treuddyn and Llanfynydd before moving to Anglesey.

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