Date: 9 Feb 2010
Frank Hancock died following a fire at his flat in Catford, London on 4 February 2010.
He was found smouldering on a couch in his flat and taken to Lewisham Hospital where he died on 9 February 2010 from burns and smoke inhalation.
An accelerant had been poured over him in his kitchen where he had been set on fire.
A mentally ill 53-year-old woman was tried for his murder twice at the Old Bailey but was acquitted although she was convicted of stealing money from him and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment.
It was heard that a couple that had lived in the flat above Frank Hancock had gone out shopping at about 11am on 4 February 2010 and that when they had returned at about 4.30pm they had smelt burning and could see smoke in the corridor and that they then saw the mentally ill woman in the hallway reading a letter. They said that when they asked the mentally ill woman, 'Is your house on fire? Have you called the police?', that the mentally ill woman replied, 'No it's not on fire, there is no problem'.
When the police later questioned the mentally ill woman she admitted to having known Frank Hancock and seeing him earlier and when she showed them a burn that she had on her arm, she said that a builder had caused it to her earlier on in the day. She said that when she had gone to see Frank Hancock earlier in the day that she had seen a builder leaving the property in quite a hurry.
She said that when she saw Frank Hancock in the kitchen that there was an electric blanket smoking on the floor and that they had an argument and said that when she left him he was sitting in a chair in the kitchen smoking.
The mentally ill woman had been living in a hostel at the time. It was heard that following the fire that her room had been cordoned off by the police as a crime scene but that she had attempted to force her way in. When the police later searched her room, they found Frank Hancock's post office account card in her wallet.
The mentally ill woman who was unemployed was described at the Old Bailey as a woman who begged people for money occasionally and suffered from mental health problems, which sometimes made her behaviour unpredictable.
Frank Hancock, who was also unemployed, had one eye and was an alcoholic who would drink to excess, with a taste for whiskey. His ground floor flat was described as being very untidy and he was described as a man who enjoyed pornography.