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Screams heard at Burnley death house
SHOUTS and screams were heard from a house in Burnley which was later the subject of a murder investigation, an inquest heard yesterday.
Detectives initially arrested five people – three men and two women – after 51-year-old Brendan Lally was found dead at the bottom of stairs at the property in Reed Street, the town’s coroner’s court was told.
Neighbour Sarah Helliwell, who had reported previous noise problems at the house to Lancashire Police, heard raised voices on October 31 last year.
And in a statement later she said she heard a female scream, followed by crying, and the words ‘Mum, what have you done?’, followed by ‘eerie silence’.
All five of the suspects were later released without charge by Lancashire Police, East Lancashire coroner Richard Taylor told the hearing at Burnley Town Hall.
His sister Patricia Hesketh said Mr Lally, of Springfield Bank, Burnley, would ‘help anyone out’, but this often led to people taking advantage of him and occasionally stealing from him.
She told the inquest that she was particularly unhappy about her brother borrowing and lending money from one particular woman on the Burnley Wood estate, Wendy Brennand, and wanted him to stay away from the Reed Street address.
“I believe she was one of the people who was taking advantage of Brendan and I didn’t like her visiting him in his flat,” she added.
The inquest heard that when Mr Lally was found at the bottom of the stairs he was wearing a number of T-shirts – but no coat. Mrs Hesketh said he always wore a jacket, whenever he was out, as he had a near-obsession about checking for his keys.
The inquest heard Mr Lally had a normal upbringing but the death of his father, aged 12, had a marked effect on him, resulting in a number of compulsive behaviours which remained with him until his death.
He also suffered a footballing injury, a year later, which would affect him throughout his life.
The court was told he would often drink to numb the pain of his knee injury and was averse to taking medication to ease his condition.
Later in life, around 2006, he also suffered an ankle problem which led to screws being inserted into his foot.
But his sister insisted he used to be ‘very careful’ about negotiating stairs.
The hearing continues.