The body of a man has been found in the chimney of a law firm in central England, police said Friday.

The corpse was found at the offices of Moody and Woolley solicitors in Derby on Wednesday.

Derbyshire Police would not comment on reports that the 42-year-old man is believed to have been a would-be burglar but did say the man was known to them.

The Derby Telegraph reported that the body was found when staff noticed a bad smell which they thought was a dead bird and called in pest controllers, who made the grim discovery.

It is thought the body had been in the chimney for about a month, the paper added.

An inquest into the death is due to open at Derby Coroners Court later on Friday.