Dead pensioner left for 7 hours behind bar in Ancient Foresters pub

News Desk (18 March, 2015)

70-year-old John Pannell died at 10am in the Bermondsey pub but his body was not collected until around 5pm.

1056The Ancient Foresters pub in Southwark Park Road.

Family members and friends of an “incredibly kind and genuine” pensioner have expressed their disgust at how his body was left behind a pub bar for seven hours following his death last month.

John Pannell, 70, died from a heart attack while restocking the fridges at the Ancient Foresters pub in Southwark Park Road on the morning of February 1.

He passed away at 10am and was discovered by Sandra Smith, the pub’s landlady, soon after. She called the emergency services but it was not until close to 5pm that his body was finally taken away.

Sandra said: “It’s just not right. He deserved better and he shouldn’t have just been lying there with a cover over him all day. Imagine if he had collapsed out on the street – he would never have just been left there.”

John Pannell

John Pannell

The pub opened for the day with John’s body lying behind a section of the bar, which was closed off.

Sandra said: “The customers knew what was happening because there were paramedics and police all about the place.”

John’s sister Sue Hoedemaker described the situation as “more than shocking.”

She said: “He was a lovely, kind, funny man. He shouldn’t have been left there for seven hours. You can’t imagine how this affected me and my brothers.

“It’s traumatic enough to know that your brother has died, but for a man like John to be left like that was horrible.

“He was there on the day I was born and always took care of me and my brothers – changing nappies, playing with us as kids. He was there for all of us.”

His friend and neighbour Tony Thompson also felt that the situation was “disgusting.”

He said: “He was incredibly kind and genuine. It’s not right that he was left there. I wish I had known, because I would have gone and sat with him. That’s what he would have done for me.

“He was like a father to me – more of a father than my real one, really.”


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