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Ea Shows Potential Buyer Around House Whilst Owner Lay Dead On Sofa

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An estate agent showed prospective buyers around an £800,000 house while the owner lay dead on her sofa, an inquest heard yesterday. The agent, Samuel Allfort, said he had assumed the 55-year-old woman was sleeping and continued with the pre-arranged viewing. The Marsh & Parsons employee even left the living room to view last in case she awoke in time to meet the buyers.

But after the viewing he returned to the property as 'something wasn't right', Westminster Coroner' s Court heard. He found the homeowner, Katherine Frame, motionless on the sofa, where she had turned a 'yellow-ish' colour, the hearing was told. The incident took place in Notting Hill, West London on June 29.

In a statement read to the court, Mr Allfort said: 'After finishing the viewing I went outside with the applicants to say goodbye. I then went back into the property because something didn't seem right.

'Upon seeing this person again they seemed absolutely motionless and were a yellow-ish colour.

'I called an ambulance which arrived almost instantly, and the ambulance man soon told me that she had passed away.'

Miss Frame was born in New Orleans, and was living alone since a divorce, the court heard. She had been made redundant a couple of years ago, and this year she decided to sell her house because of financial difficulties and was planning on returning to the U.S.

Although Miss Frame had been treated for chronic depression for 23 years and had struggled for years with alcohol problems, a postmortem revealed that there was no drink in her system when she died.

However, her liver was severely damaged, and pathologist Dr Peter Wilkins told the court this was the 'most significant' pathological factor he found.

Recording his verdict, Assistant Deputy Coroner Dr Andrew Barton said: 'I conclude that this was natural causes exacerbated by chronic excessive alcohol ingestion.'

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  • 415 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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