Key fob failure meant woman’s body was left unnoticed for months

Cables Wynd House. Picture: contributed
Cables Wynd House. Picture: contributed
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Residents at a block of Edinburgh flats are demanding to know if a key fob system failure lead to a woman’s body being left undiscovered until months after her death.

The 37-year-old’s body was found in Cables Wynd House in Leith and Edinburgh council, its partner agencies and detectives have launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding what happened.

But shocked neighbours are questioning why the woman wasn’t checked on by the concierge, a procedure they believe should have been followed.

One man, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “It could have been me lying there.”

“There should be someone checking up on people, especially older residents and people living alone.”

Police were alerted to the woman’s death at 9.35am on Wednesday, October 18.

They confirmed the death is currently being treated as unexplained and there are no suspicious circumstances.

Mystery still surrounds her identity as she hasn’t been formally named.

A notice inside the flats explains how the key fob system should operate. Residents gain access to the building using an electronic key fob, which each have their own unique code.

Each time this is used the system logs the resident’s name, flat number and time it was used.

The concierge can use this system to highlight any irregularities or a sudden stop in use of the access key – which could be the case if the woman had been left for a number of months, as police believe.

Edinburgh council says it is looking into what the key 
protocol is at Cables Wynd House. The authority now needs to determine what went wrong with the key policy, if anything.

The concierge at Cables Wynd House declined to comment when approached yesterday.

But Eddie Whitehead, 63, who has been a resident there for 13 years, said: “Someone should be checking on these people.

“I would hate to think I was in my house for months before being found dead.”

The Edinburgh Tenants Federation, which aims to promote tenants’ rights and the maintenance and improvement of their homes and environment, declined to comment on the “delicate situation”.

Another resident, who did not wish to be identified, said: “I was sent a letter a few months ago stating if your key fob had not been used for three to five days that someone would check on you.

“It is obviously very concerning. I am a mother of two and I already don’t feel safe living here.”

Cables Wynd House, which dates from the early 1960s, is also known as the Leith Banana Flats or as the Banana Block because of its curved shape.

Earlier this year the ten-storey building was awarded a Category A listed status.