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House fire victim with hoarding problem was 'let down', inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 16:33 29 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:33 29 January 2020

Yasmin Siddiqi, 41, died in a flat fire in Rodney Road, Great Yarmouth. Picture: Zahid Verrier

Yasmin Siddiqi, 41, died in a flat fire in Rodney Road, Great Yarmouth. Picture: Zahid Verrier

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A woman with a hoarding problem who died in a house fire should have had a mental capacity assessment due to the level of clutter in her flat, an inquest has heard.

From left, Yasmin's sister, Melissa Greenway, her brother Zahid Verrier and Miss Siddiqi. Picture: Zahid VerrierFrom left, Yasmin's sister, Melissa Greenway, her brother Zahid Verrier and Miss Siddiqi. Picture: Zahid Verrier

Yasmin Siddiqi, 41, died in her home on Rodney Road in Great Yarmouth on October 26, 2018.

The inquest, which began on Wednesday (January 29) at Norfolk Coroner's Court, heard Ms Siddiqi was originally from Birmingham and had moved to the Norfolk coast in 1997.

Her brother Zahid Verrier told the inquest his sister was "a fun-loving, outgoing, wonderful person up until the age of 15".

"Sadly for Yasmin she was plagued with bad luck in her life," he said.

His sister's life changed forever after a sexual assault when she was 15 years old, devastating her for the rest of her life, Mr Verrier said.

The inquest heard that after moving to Great Yarmouth she started work as a chef but her mental health "declined quite substantially" and she gradually isolated herself from her family

Dorothy Creevy, the deceased woman's mother, said in a statement there was "poor communication" between the various services responsible for her daughter's care.

Paul Whatrup, a social worker, said Ms Siddiqi had problems with hoarding.

After an assessment in February 2018 a care plan was put in place where she would have 12 hours support every week, he said.

He told the inquest there were concerns that Ms Siddiqi's hoarding might be a fire risk while an assessment in June noted she was using a waste paper bin as an ashtray.

A fire risk assessment in early September rated her flat seven out of nine on a clutter scale, a relatively high clutter rating, the inquest heard.

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Mr Whatrup told William Young, barrister for Ms Siddiqi's family, he did not know the rating was to trigger a mental capacity assessment. He also said the findings were not referred to environmental health officers.

The assessment had recommended the clutter be reduced by 50pc but Mr Whatrup doubted this had happened by the time of Ms Siddiqi's death, the inquest heard.

The inquest continues on Thursday (January 30) in front of Assistant Coroner for Norfolk Simon Milburn.

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