Pensioner dies after being bitten by rats as she lay in bed
Published 22/07/2011 | 09:44
A pensioner has died just weeks after being bitten by rats amid allegations by neighbours that fortnightly bin collections in the area were encouraging rodents.
The elderly woman was believed to have been left helpless in her home as it was overrun by rats while she was bedbound following a stroke.
Days after being attacked the 80-year-old was rushed to hospital where she died more than two weeks after she was admitted.
UK Police have launched an investigation into the death and were believed to be probing the pensioner's living conditions.
Neighbours in the quiet suburb of Reading, where the woman lived, have been temporarily evacuated while the council tries to bring the rodent infestation under control.
They claim the problem became much worse after the council moved to fortnightly household refuse collections instead of weekly.
They told how rats were entering their homes through pipes and even coming up through the lavatories.
One man even claimed he had found rats under his daughter's bed.
The elderly woman was believed to have been attacked by rodents in her bed as she lay convalescing at the end of June.
She and her neighbours were evacuated from their homes to nearby bed and breakfasts following the incident.
However, the woman was rushed to hospital in Reading, where she died between July 14 and 15.
James Sullivan, aged 16 years, who lived next door told how his six-year-old sister awoke with two rats on her bed and will no longer sleep in her own room as a result.
He also said that a rat had gnawed a hole through the draught excluder by his bedroom door.
"I woke up in the middle of the night and heard gnawings so I looked down and there was a rat crawling through," he said.
His mother Alison Sullivan said they had been calling the council know about the rat problem for the past three years.