Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 30 October 2014

UK pensioners freeze to death in Cumbrian gardens

A pensioner is feared to have collapsed in her garden and frozen to death, police said today.

Officers discovered the body of Lillian Jenkinson, 80, in her back garden in Workington, Cumbria, at 10.40am yesterday.

The day before an elderly man was also found dead in his garden in Kirby Stephen, also in Cumbria. It is not currently known how long he lay undetected.

Today, detectives said Mrs Jenkinson may have fallen in her garden and spent the night in freezing conditions before she was discovered.

Assistant chief constable Jerry Graham said: "Two elderly people have tragically died in their gardens in the last week and we know they were closely supported by family and neighbours.

"However not everyone has that support. So I would ask everyone to keep an eye out for vulnerable people in their community, particularly those who are elderly and live alone."

Temperatures plunged to well below zero at the start of the week in Cumbria.

The man, whom police have not named, was in his 80s and also lay undetected overnight.

Investigators are examining whether he fell or collapsed because of a medical "episode".

Joan Rodgers, a neighbour who lives on Pinfold Street close to Mrs Jenkinson's home, said she was shocked and saddened by the "awful" death.

She said: "I fell in my living room the other night and I couldn't get up and was lying on the floor all night. At least I was inside.

"I wouldn't have liked to have gone outside.

"Fancy going out in this weather, because it's bad up here.

"I haven't been out since Tuesday."

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