Nottingham city council to review case of women found dead in their home

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On nan past fewer occasions Alphonsine Djiako Leuga was seen successful her neighbourhood, she is said to person told shopkeepers that she could not spend to power her location aliases bargain nutrient for her abnormal daughter.

Months later, Leuga and her teenage girl were recovered dormant wrong their Nottingham home. Police said nan brace had “lain undiscovered for immoderate time” but they were “satisfied” nary crime had occurred.

Nottingham metropolis assembly has now announced a reappraisal to look astatine nan engagement agencies had pinch nan family, whom neighbours said they had not seen for months.

It has been much than 2 weeks since officers collapsed into nan family’s end-of-terrace assembly location aft concerns were raised for their welfare, but small has emerged astir nan circumstances surrounding nan deaths.

Their neighbours successful Radford, an inner-city area of Nottingham wherever nan mother and girl had lived for astir 5 years, described them arsenic “inseparable”, pinch 1 remarking: “You wouldn’t spot 1 without nan other.”

But Jeya Bavanantharajah, a cashier astatine Jays Food And Wine, said he had go worried astir Leuga erstwhile she came successful looking tired and unwell astir 3 months ago. He recalled: “She said: ‘We’re very acold and we person nary food.’ She asked maine if she could person a mates of stiff pizzas connected credit. She brought nan money backmost 2 weeks later, it was £2 aliases £3.

“She said: ‘My babe has nary food. I’m not well, my location has nary heating and I’m very cold.’ I said: ‘It’s winter, you request heating.’ She said, ‘maybe God will thief me,’ and past she left.”

A fewer doors down astatine Food Basket, an African butcher and market store, a shop worker, Babatunde, said he excessively had grown concerned astir Leuga successful December erstwhile she came in. “She wasn’t emotion fine, she had a swollen look and she said nan acold was excessively much,” he said.

“I said, ‘why don’t you power up nan house?’ and she said she couldn’t salary nan bill. She was earnestly down. She complained astir nan building, saying that there’s mould successful her location and each nan unspeakable things that tin hap arsenic a consequence of nan location not being heated.”

Babatunde said he believed it was successful February that he had past seen Leuga, who he had travel to cognize arsenic “Cameroon woman” aft nan state successful which she was born.

“Her girl faced challenges but she was ever looked after. They seemed happy together,” he said. “Last summertime societal services came to inquire america astir them. But she was a quiet person. The only point I knew astir her was that she was successful Italy earlier she came to nan UK, and she complained that nan measurement that group were taken attraction of successful Italy was amended than successful nan UK.”

view of rear of respective square, ceramic houses successful a terrace; they person achromatic windowframes and tiled roofs, and a precocious woody obstruction astir nan backmost garden.
Police collapsed into nan end-of-terrace location successful Radford, Nottingham connected 21 May aft concerns were raised for nan family’s welfare. Photograph: Fabio De Paola/The Guardian

Social services had besides visited Leuga’s nextdoor neighbour, Deborah Williams, 3 times successful nan twelvemonth that she had lived there. Williams said she could perceive Leuga was astatine location during their 3rd visit, but she wouldn’t reply nan door. “She was conscionable talking to them done nan window. I conscionable presumed she really didn’t want anybody intruding,” she said.

Williams said she had noticed that Leuga’s windows had been unfastened since February and that nan spot appeared unkempt.

“But I didn’t put 2 and 2 together to opportunity something’s gone incorrect because my mum, who lived present for 40 years earlier me, said they spell distant for months astatine a clip and past travel back,” she said. “At immoderate point, I did perceive what I thought was cats, but successful hindsight I realise it wasn’t. It was a very low-pitch outcry that went connected for hours.”

She added: “It’s really weird that she wasn’t missed by anybody different than societal services.”

Williams said she had erstwhile seen Leuga waving goodbye to her older daughter, believed to beryllium successful her early 20s. Leuga besides had a brother, who had arrived successful Nottingham connected 25 May hoping to find answers astir her death, but he had returned location to Liège, Belgium, that aforesaid day.

Naomi and Tatiane, 2 women who had helped Leuga erstwhile she arrived successful nan UK, said constabulary had told Leuga’s relative that they couldn’t springiness him accusation because he wasn’t her adjacent of kin.

Tatiane said: “He was truthful disappointed. He is looking for answers because he’s truthful concerned that this could hap erstwhile she was surviving connected a main road. It’s conscionable truthful strange.”

Speaking astatine Nottingham Salvation Outreach, a religion wherever Leuga had worshipped, Naomi said she had met Leuga erstwhile she arrived successful nan UK successful 2016 aft a divorcement successful Italy.

“My hubby conscionable recovered her pinch her 2 girls astatine Nottingham train position 1 nighttime and she said she was looking for a edifice to sleep,” she recalled. The family ended up taking successful Leuga and her daughters for 2 weeks.

Naomi, who did not want to springiness her surname, said Leuga had told her she had near a “difficult” narration and wanted to commencement a caller life pinch her children successful Nottingham.

Months later, Tatiane, who besides did not want to springiness her surname, recovered Leuga extracurricular Nottingham’s Victoria shopping centre successful akin circumstances. “She was asking for help. She said she didn’t person anyplace to spell truthful I brought her successful for 2 weeks, I conscionable had to thief her.”

Tatiane gave her money to thief her rent a spot earlier nan family was housed by nan council.

Over nan years, nan brace had small interaction pinch Leuga, who had antecedently asked to get money for food. Naomi said she had past heard from Leuga successful February 2023 erstwhile she had asked her for £100. “She said it was for thing she was doing online. She said: ‘I’m successful something, I request that money.’”

The brace said they had recovered her decease very achy and were hopeless to find retired what had happened to her. “You suffer personification for illustration that and you consciousness could person done more,” Naomi said.

On Tuesday, Nottinghamshire constabulary said it had established that nary crime had taken spot successful nan “distressing” case.

DCI Ruby Burrow said: “Since this tragic discovery, we person been moving difficult to found nan circumstances surrounding these deaths. Officers are now satisfied nary crime has occurred and truthful nan matter has been referred to nan coroner.”

A Nottingham metropolis assembly spokesperson said: “This is simply a tragic business and our thoughts are pinch nan family and friends of nan mother and girl who died. The afloat circumstances will beryllium nan taxable of an inquest and a afloat reappraisal will beryllium carried retired to look astatine nan engagement that each section agencies had pinch nan family.

“Ahead of nan inquest and review, we are incapable to talk nan item of this case, nevertheless we tin corroborate that nan assembly had provided support to nan family done its attraction and lodging services.”

Source theguardian