Aberdeen City Council will review its practices after padlocking a man who had died inside his flat – but the man’s distraught mother has vowed to fight for more answers.
Michael Stewart, 32, was discovered in his property in Balnagask Avenue on Friday, March 8, by police carrying out a welfare check at his concerned mum’s request.
It later emerged that he had lain dead there for several weeks before officers broke down the door.
Yesterday, the local authority revealed that a workman had padlocked the door in February following complaints about a broken lock barrel.
It is understood that the flat was not checked before a decision was made to lock it up.
A council spokesman said the authority was helping police to investigate, and that it would now update its own procedures for securing properties.
But Mr Stewart’s mother, Jane Grant, believes that such rules should already have existed – and said she will press for more answers on why her son was not discovered sooner.
She said: “The council should have had something in place to prevent this from ever occurring, it should not have taken my son to die.
“Someone other than my son reported the lock barrel was missing from his door, and that should have sparked some concerns for his welfare. Alarm bells should have been ringing.
“I would swap places with Michael if I could, and I will never give up the fight to get to the bottom of this even if it takes until my dying breath.
“I hope that me getting to the bottom of what happened around my son’s passing will help save anyone else from the heartbreak I am dealing with.”
Miss Grant moved from near her son in Torry to Yorkshire nearly two years ago.
She stressed that the two had a strong bond and that, though he was in his 30s when he died, Mr Stewart remained a “mummy’s boy” all his life.
A council spokesman said: “We have spoken to the family of Michael Stewart and our thoughts remain with all those affected by his death.
“We have carried out a review of the council’s actions and can confirm the property was locked in February following an insecure external door being reported.
“We are committed to updating our procedures in relation to securing properties that are believed to be vacant.
“We will continue to liaise with Mr Stewart’s family and provide support.”
There are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances regarding the father-of-one’s death.
Speaking after his body was found, a friend described Mr Stewart as a “really lovely, likeable guy” with a “brilliant sense of humour”.
He added: “It’s tragic that somebody could have lain there for that period of time without being discovered – surely to God there should have been something in place to check on him.
“He didn’t deserve this, nobody deserves this.”