THE MYSTERIOUS death of an elderly mother and her blind son will remain unsolved after they were found dead in their “spartan” flat in Bracknell, a joint inquest has heard.

June and Stephen Corfield were found half-dressed and seated amid an arrangement of radios and alarm clocks when discovered by staff from a local housing authority.

How the reclusive 84-year-old woman and 60-year-old man died was probed by Major Crime detectives, who questioned whether a murder-suicide had taken place.

But after months of the inquiry, a coroner today ruled the whole truth of what took place may never be known but theorised that Mrs Corfield might have died first, leaving her blind son unable to fend for himself.

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Detective Sergeant Liam Butler told Reading Coroner's Court what his officers found at the two-bedroomed flat in Nightingale Crescent.

He said on January 15, police found one bedroom with a double bed but no cupboards, while the other bedroom contained an unplugged fridge and three televisions.

Officer's found no toilet rolls or cleaning products in the bathroom and the kitchen had sparse cupboards, no cooker or a fridge, but 10 cartons of long life milk and about 10 chocolate cakes, the inquest heard.

A newspaper dated December 2, 2019, was found in the bin, the coroner was told.

The court heard how although there was a boiler, it did not appear to be operating, so it was believed there was no heating in the house.

“All the electrical items were unplugged and the main electrical fuse box was turned to the off position. The light fittings did not have light bulbs in” Det. Sgt. Butler said.

He added: "There was not anything in the address that we would all recognise as items we would all use in our day-to-day living, such as working TV, internet connection, phones. It seemed very sparse."

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The court went on to hear how officers found the pair in chairs slouched back and in a state of 'decomposition'.

June was said to have been found wearing a top and one sock, and Stephen wearing a shirt, shoes, and socks. He was found to have £1,000 cash in the pocket of his trousers that were round his knees, the inquest heard.

Det. Sgt. Butler said in between the two chairs were two Bush DAB radios and next to June’s chair a handwritten note.

Alan Blake, assistant coroner for Berkshire, said: “The note itself had a lot of words on it, they were not necessarily in a conventional line format, some had been crossed through but the section I recall was a bit which said, ‘check water, check electric and put memo at the top of the stairs do not come in’.”

The words ‘digital radio bush’ and ‘China dab’ were also found on the note, the coroner said.

The court also heard from Charlotte Rolfe, of Silva Homes which managed the Iveagh Court block in Nightingale Crescent, who described how the pair were found.

Ms Rolfe said: “[June] agreed to allow access to her flat for some of the work to be done.

“[Contractors] were still struggling to gain entry to the property. Every time they knocked, they could hear occupants inside but nobody would answer the door.

“Contractors urgently needed access to the property. A PCSO and I attended together to conduct a welfare check at the address. I got a locksmith to gain entry to the address."

It was then that the pair were discovered inside having passed away.

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Dr Robert Chapman, who carried out post mortem, gave the cause of death for Mrs Corfield as pneumonia and coronary heart disease. There were no signs of any sexual assault, Dr Chapman added.

The pathologist said that while he discovered a small tumour in Stephen Corfield’s brain, his cause of death remained unascertained.

Mr Blake said: “June Corfield and Stephen Corfield lived a reclusive lifestyle, they had had no contact with family members for some years and were hardly known to their neighbours.

“The flat in which they lived was very spartan, with very few items of furniture and other possessions. It seems that Stephen Corfield was visually impaired and that his mother June provided some assistance."

He added: "It is possible that June may have died first and that Stephen was subsequently unable to care for himself but I cannot make this as a finding of fact on the balance of probabilities. It is just one of a set of possibilities.

“The police made open-minded and appropriate inquiries. There was no evidence of third-party involvement and very scant evidence which could point to suicide. The rather cryptic and hard to decipher note ending in ‘do not come in’ which was left would not permit such an inference and I do not make such a finding.”

Mr Blake delivered a narrative conclusion in the case of Mrs Corfield, where he said she had died on a date unknown and that he accepted the cause of death suggesting she had died of natural causes.

In the case of Mr Corfield, the coroner said: “There is insufficient evidence to determine on the balance of probabilities whether this was an entirely natural death or whether there was an element of the unnatural about this death.

“It cannot be established whether neglect or self-neglect caused or contributed to the death and accordingly I am required to reach an open conclusion in relation to Stephen Corfield.”