Page last updated at 17:17 GMT, Thursday, 8 January 2009

Shopaholic's body found at house

Joan Cunnane
Mrs Cunnane's friend said she had been a compulsive shopper for years

The body of a shopaholic pensioner was found among a mountain of her purchases at her Stockport home.

Joan Cunnane, 77, was found at the house in Rosgill Close, Heaton Mersey, after concerned friends reported her missing earlier this week.

An expert police search team looked for her body for several hours before eventually finding her among the possessions which filled her bungalow.

A police investigation has opened into the circumstances of her death.

Mrs Cunnane was last seen on Boxing Day and was reported missing by her friend Roy Moran on Tuesday.

Mr Moran, 77, said she had been a compulsive shopper for at least 15 years and would sometimes sleep at his house in Cheadle Hulme as her own house was too full of belongings.

Everything was stacked up like a hedge
Roy Moran

He said: "When we looked in her house we just could not believe it - the house was completely full from floor to ceiling.

"Everything was stacked up like a hedge and when we went in things started falling down.

"She had thousands of videos stacked up, the whole place was full."

He said Mrs Cunnane started shopping to get out of the house after a group of youths began causing trouble in the area 15 years ago.

"I think that's what started the pattern of her wanting to be out of the house every day. She felt she had to do something, so she went round the shops," he said.

"She was not just buying for the sake of buying, everything was bought for a reason, and I think it gave her pleasure.

"She seemed reasonably content, but did not have many close friends, it's just a very sad story."

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