Ealing faces probe over man’s death

A coroner promised this week to call on Ealing’s director of
housing and social services to review the council’s proceedings for
homeless people after a man starved himself to death while waiting
for a place to live.

Earlier this month, coroner Dr Paul Knapman adjourned the inquest
of Kiran Parmar to allow time for Ealing and Westminster Council
officials to answer questions over his case (news, page 7, 10

Parmar lived in bed and breakfast accommodation in Southall,
Middlesex, for five years but was eventually evicted because of
hygiene problems.

He then slept on his cousin’s sofa while friends tried to find
accommodation for him through Ealing and Westminster Councils.

But Ealing Council said they had closed his file because they “did
not find him to be homeless” and had written to him telling him he
could reapply if he was going to be homeless.

Westminster housing needs department had agreed to send a worker to
see Parmar but “regretted” that the visit was not carried out. On
one occasion a senior official had not allocated a case worker,
while on a second the case worker was away on holiday.

Parmar began urinating on his cousin’s sofa and developed bed
sores, and was eventually taken to hospital where he died of

Knapman recorded a verdict of death by natural causes contributed
to by self-neglect, but added that there had been “an undignified
spectacle in respect of responsibility” surrounding the case.

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