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Mystery of dead body found in Clerkenwell tower

Neighbours 'upset' over mystery death of man, 54, in tower flat

23 August, 2019 — By Calum Fraser

Andrew Rudford’s body was found in St Mary’s Tower, Clerk­enwell, in March

MEDICAL experts have not been able to establish how a 54-year-old man found lying face down in a tower block flat died, an inquest heard this week.

Andrew Rudford, who also went by the name of Kisteel Vondean, died in St Mary’s Tower, Clerk­enwell, in March.

A post-mortem examination could not find any medical reason for his death. At an inquest in St Pancras Coroner’s Court on Wednesday, assistant coroner Sarah Burke said: “Despite a thorough post-mortem examination the cause of Mr Vondean’s death could not be ascertained.”

There was “no evidence to suggest his death was of an unnatural nature”, the coroner said.

Labourers working on the scaffolding that surrounds the tower noticed Mr Rudford’s body through a window on March 7 and called for an ambulance.

He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics but it is not known how long Mr Rudford had been lying there before he was discovered.

Police officers who attended the scene noted that there was “no disturbance or signs of a break-in”.

A toxicologist examination found that there were no drugs or alcohol in his system, while a pathologist found no evidence to suggest signs of a struggle, self-defence or self-harming injuries.

Mr Rudford, who had recently moved to the 13-storey tower block, managed by Peabody, had a history of mental health issues including psychotic episodes and anxiety, according to a report from his GP read out in the court.

A friend who saw him a week or so before he died said he had looked “pale” and had conjunctivitis.

The coroner recorded he had died by natural causes.

On Wednesday, Mr Rudford’s neighbours told how he worked as a valet and was a “lovely” and “gentle fella”, who was often seen riding around on his pedal bike and had weights in his flat to keep himself fit.

A neighbour, who has lived in the tower for more than 40 years, said: “It upset a lot of people when they heard he had been lying in there for a while.”

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