75-year-old John Arthur Noble, from Meltham in Huddersfield, was a social recluse who spent the last 30 years locked inside his house. The only time his neighbours got a glimpse of him was when he would pick up his groceries from the Sainsbury's delivery boy.
Finding the body
However, one day his neighbour Pauline Blake spotted a jackdaw bird trapped inside his window. She knocked on his door to inquire, but there was no response. After a few days of not hearing back from him, she started to get worried and called the police.
When they arrived, they broke down the front door and stumbled upon what they could only describe as a ‘mummified body.’ They suspect that Arthur Noble has been dead for a year. The officer who found the body said:
John was in a state of what I can only describe as mummification.
I conducted a search of the property to find many rooms full of items of food, beer and videotapes.
I went through the house where there were several containers with urine in them. These were all downstairs around the house.
At the front door, he had placed a long wooden pole inside the property to block the door shut.
There were piles of mail dated 2020. The food in the property was dated 2019 and 2020 which said to me it had been there for some time.
A social recluse
While detectives ruled out any suspicious foul-play, the case did reveal a distressing story about a social recluse whose life was destroyed by addiction and mental illness. Gary, his son, revealed that he hadn’t seen Noble for the past 29 years. He said in a statement:
I had not seen him for 29 years. My father sadly pushed people away due to his drinking and also his mental health issues.
My mother and father split up over 30 years ago and when they first split I did try to maintain a relationship with him but all he ever did was push me away and that meant having no relationships.
From what I have learned since my father's death is that he was a recluse. He never really saw anyone and he had no friends.
The neighbours did try to help him and he even pushed the neighbours away.