[from Islington Gazette]
Murder victim dead in flat for up to three weeks
25 January 2008
|The murder scene on the Andover Estate|
THE body of a man found beaten to death in his council flat could have been lying there since the New Year.
It has now emerged that the remains of James Anthony Pounal were only found after police were called to investigate a rotten smell coming out of his letterbox.
Neighbours had not seen the 51-year-old they knew as Tony for weeks – but thought he had just gone away without taking out his rubbish.
The gruesome discovery was made after officers forced their way into the first-floor flat in Selden Walk on the Andover Estate, Holloway, on Monday morning.
It is believed they found Mr Pounal lying face-up on the floor of his front room.A post mortem held at St Pancras mortuary gave the cause of death as head injuries and a murder inquiry was launched.
Police said that Mr Pounal was last seen alive on New Year’s Eve. A 28-year-old woman from Selden Walk, who did not want to be named, said: “I hadn’t seen him since October. Then two weeks ago I started to notice this smell. It was like very bad rubbish.
“On Monday I went downstairs to his flat. I opened the letterbox and the smell was really bad. The police told me straight away that they thought it smelled like a dead body. I just want to know what has happened.”
Neighbour and retired brewery worker Doreen Price, 73, said she had not seen him since at least a week before Christmas.
She said: “I sent him a card a week before Christmas and he didn’t send me one back, which was very unusual for Tony. I just though he was busy at college.”
Neighbours said they often saw Mr Pounal cycling to and from his home of four to five years – but said there were never any comings and goings at the flat.
They believe he attended a nearby college and was signed up for computing at the estate’s community centre.
Mrs Price said: “He was a gentle giant and the most likeable person you could ever want to meet. When he was younger, he was adopted by these people in Canada. He had been married for a couple of years in Canada but it didn’t work out and he came over here.
“It took The Salvation Army two years to find his proper mother, who lived in Manchester. He showed me all the pictures one New Year’s Eve. Then he went back to see them and his mother didn’t want to know. There was a bit of a row. He was really upset. He sat on the sofa sobbing like a child.
“He was in touch with his family in Canada but he hadn’t been over there for some time. He had friends but he was more into going to college and going on his laptop. He kept himself to himself although he would sometimes go out and would always see this friend on the estate.
“He called me ‘mum’ a couple of times but it seems silly – a grown man like that calling me ‘mum’. He was very lonely and he died lonely. He was broken-hearted.”
Detective Chief Inspector Peter Lansdown said: “We are appealing for anyone who knew Mr Pounal to come forward. We know he was seen alive on December 31 last year and are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen him since then, knows who he associated with or the locations he frequented.”
Anyone with information should call the incident room on 020 8358 0200 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.