Son kept dead mother in freezer

Last updated 07:21 11/03/2014

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An English "hoarder" kept his dead mother in a freezer for six months so he could keep claiming her benefits.

Philipe Brough, 54, was the primary carer for his 90-year-old mother, Louise Brough, up until her death from natural causes in February last year, the Guardian reported.

When she died Brough panicked that he would lose the council flat they had been living in in Portsmouth, England - as well as the money for her pension and the money he received for caring for her - so he bundled his mother into an upright freezer.

He was profoundly depressed and acted in a state of distress and emotional breakdown, his defence counsel Matthew Jewell said.

Police prosecutor Martyn Booth said Louise was only found because local council staff tried to contact her.

They became suspicious when Brough was evasive about his mother's whereabouts and alerted police.

A search of the flat found it in a state of disarray, with a large amount of property cluttering up most of the place in what was typical of a "hoarder", Booth said.

The freezer with the mother in it was found at the back of the property and was taped shut in order to prevent the door opening accidentally.

Brough pleaded guilty to preventing a lawful and decent burial, and fraud, in Portsmouth crown court.

He was given an eight-month term of imprisonment suspended for 12 months with a 12-month supervision order.

Judge Roger Hetherington said he accepted Brough had acted out of an "emotional inability to cope".

"What is inexcusable is to embark on the elaborate course that you did involving a considerable deception over a period of time in dealing with your mother's death in the way that you did."

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