An elderly couple lay dead in their Hampshire home for at least three weeks, an inquest has heard.
It is thought that 66-year-old Joan Poore died a week before her husband Gordon, 75, who continued to live in their Southampton house with her decomposing body, reports the Bucks Free Press.
Police discovered Mrs Poore's body under a duvet in the front room while that of her husband was found in an upstairs bedroom after a passing builder had been alerted by a smell from the house.
The couple's son, Hugh, said that his parents had declined help from both their family and social services and explained that they had distanced themselves from loved ones in recent years.
Pathologist Dr George Millward-Sadler said that the greater decomposition of Mrs Poore's body indicated that she has died a week earlier than her husband.
A verdict of death from natural causes was given in both cases.