Janet Veal, 56, was found on her kitchen floor surrounded by her pets, some of which were also dead, with parts of her having been ‘gnawed and eaten’, the Southern Daily Echo said. It is thought she had died weeks, or possibly months, before PC Dave Ivey discovered her body on April 4 at her Ringwood home after neighbours reported post overflowing in her letterbox. It is thought Mrs Veal, whose husband left her the previous year and had a history of chest problems, died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Recording a death of natural causes at Southampton coroner’s court, Coroner Keith Wiseman said: ‘These animals had been, the officer thought, confined in these two rooms downstairs for what may well have been a period of many weeks, stretching quite possibly into several months. ‘This too was a distressing experience because it was clear that certain parts of Mrs Veal’s body were missing and had, the officer formed the view, effectively been gnawed and eaten away by the animals.’ He added: ‘One can only imagine the difficulty with the scene the officer was having to deal with.’