A hoarder lived alongside the corpse of a drug addict he shot for 15 years, an inquest has found.
Shane John Snellman, 39, broke into the home of Bruce Roberts, then 46, in October 2002 in Greenwich in Sydney’s north shore, it was heard at the NSW Coroner’s Court on Thursday.
Deputy state coroner Derek Lee said the most likely scenario was Mr Snellman had died of a gunshot wound to his clavicle after breaking into Mr Roberts’ home.
However his mummified body, which had been rolled up in a rug, wasn’t found until May 2018 by cleaners – a year after Mr Roberts died from an apparent heart attack.
As many as 70 bottles of air freshener had been left to cover the stench of the rotting body which was kept slumped up against a wall in a bedroom at the home.
When police later searched the house, among the huge piles of debris and rubbish hoarded over the years Mr Roberts lived there, they found illegal firearms and piles of ammunition.
Mr Snellman and Mr Roberts were described as ‘strangers’ but family members denied this during the inquest on Thursday.
Mr Snellman had turned to a life of drugs at the age of 15 having been acquitted of the murder of a homeless man.
He’d spent time moving around boys’ homes as a child and spent a year behind bars between 2001 and 2002 for drug supply charges.
Mr Snellman had also served custodial sentences for property and theft crimes.
He had been estranged from his family in the years before his death but they said he had ‘never been forgotten’.
At the time of his death amphetamines, buprenorphine and methamphetamine were found in his system.
Mr Snellman had just 66 cents in his bank account at the time he was shot, the court heard.
Mr Roberts was found dead slumped over a heater in 2017 at the age of 60 after neighbors called police when they realized they hadn’t’ seen him in weeks.
His body was severely damaged because the heater was still on at the time he was found.
The home in which both men were found dead was sold in 2018 for $2million after it was demolished.
Sydney hoarder killed man, then lived with corpse for 15 years, inquest finds https://t.co/7SJUZJnz7v— ABC News (@abcnews) May 20, 2021
A specialist team were called in to remove the rubbish from the home that filled each room from floor to ceiling.
Workers estimated the cleaning effort took three weeks and cleared ’30 to 40 truckloads’ worth of rubbish.