Cornwall

Looe landslide death: Blocked drains 'not cleared'

Looe landslide
Image caption The landslide occurred after a retaining wall and rock slope collapsed

A council contractor was asked to clear blocked drains ahead of a landslide that buried a woman in her bed, an inquest was told.

Susan Norman, 68, died in March 2013 when mud poured into her flat in Looe, Cornwall, during torrential rain.

Looe mayor Armand Toms said Cormac - which carries out work on behalf of Cornwall Council - was offered £600 to clear drains in St Martins Road.

He told Truro Magistrates' Court the offer was never taken up.

More on the landslide inquest and other news from Cornwall

Mr Toms sent a confidential email to the head of Cormac which said there were three drains "blocked solid" in St Martins Road which the highways manager "had not done anything about".

Image copyright Mrs Norman's family
Image caption Susan Norman died when her house collapsed following a landslide

Mrs Norman lived in the ground-floor flat of a house split into three apartments.

She died after a retaining wall and rock slope that stretched up to St Martins Road collapsed.

Neighbour Dwayne Brown previously told the inquest he had to clamber over a torrent of mud and water to escape his home.

In the weeks before the landslide, the court heard a bulge had formed in the wall behind the house and builders had been commissioned to repair the property.

The inquest is expected to last until 25 November.

Image caption The inquest is expected to last another two weeks

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