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Cheltenham burglary victim living in fear after raid

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: April 18, 2013

MariaHill

Maria Hill

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VICTIM Maria Hills says she is being driven out of her Cheltenham home after it was raided by a teenage thug.

The 33-year-old is desperate to move from her bungalow in Wyman’s Brook after it was violently ransacked two days before Christmas.

A 13-year-old was sentenced to a year in an young offenders institute after he was found guilty of killing her pet goldfish, stabbing the TV, slashing suitcases and stealing presents.

But Maria fears she will still be living in the house long after he is freed if she isn’t found a new place to live by Cheltenham Borough Homes soon.

“It has really been dragged out,” said Maria, who suffers from cerebral palsy. “Obviously I realise it takes some time but I am concerned that it is taking too long. The longer I am here, the longer I am at risk. You would like to think that something like it won’t happen again but you don’t know.”

Following the break-in in December, Maria was told she would be upgraded to a new, wheelchair-friendly home in Cheltenham.

But, four months later, she still hasn’t been relocated and is demanding to be moved as soon as possible.

She said: “Many of the houses in my street have been derelict for a number of years prior to the burglary and I am worried it could happen again. I need someone to recognise the urgency and realise this isn’t a way for me to live.

“I find it debilitating and, as much as I need a new home for my wellbeing, I just want to get away to bring some normality back into my life.

“The break-in has made me angry. I heard that the young lad was laughing about it as if it was a joke. But it isn’t.

“This is my life we’re talking about and, while I am here, I cannot put what he did behind me. With all my other problems, it just adds fuel to the fire.”

Cheltenham Borough Homes, which owns Maria’s current home, said it has identified a property suitable for the changes required including further adaptations.

Paul Stephenson, chief executive at CBH said: “We are working with the family and a number of agencies to complete this work as quickly as possible.

“However, due to the complex adaptations required it is taking longer than usual. We have been in contact with Ms Hills and hope to establish an agreed programme as a matter of urgency.”

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4 comments

  • lynworth  |  April 18 2013, 7:25PM

    Cheltenham Borough Homes should be ashamed of them selves for what they are putting Maria Hills through hasn't she suffered enough because of some little scumbag!!! Paul Stephenson Chief Ex at CBH is talking clap trap, a very dear friend of mine who is sadly no longer with us was diagnosed with a life threatening debilitating illness back in 2004, within a matter of weeks CBH had adapted a house for her which made her last months so much easier, I wonder if Paul Stephenson would allow any of his family to return to a home they have been scared witless in!!! I think not...four months is far too long for this poor lady to wait particularly with the disability she has to endure. sort it out CBH...

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  • lynworth  |  April 18 2013, 6:45PM

    I feel the excuses Paul Stephenson Chief Ex of Cheltenham Borough Homes has given for not rehousing poor Maria Hills is clap trap, four months is far too long for her to wait after what some little scum-bag has done to her, a very dear friend of mine was diagnosed back in 2004 with a life threatening debilitating illness and with-in a few weeks CBH had adapted a house for her so I know it can be done, what this young lady has been through is dreadful so making her life comfortable and safe should not be delayed any longer.

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  • lynworth  |  April 18 2013, 6:39PM

    I feel the excuses Paul Stephenson Chief Ex of Cheltenham Borough Homes has given for not rehousing poor Maria Hills is clap trap, four months is far too long for her to wait after what some little scum-bag has done to her, a very dear friend of mine was diagnosed back in 2004 with a life threatening debilitating illness and with-in a few weeks CBH had adapted a house for her so I know it can be done, what this young lady has been through is dreadful so making her life comfortable and safe should not be delayed any longer.

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  • lynworth  |  April 18 2013, 6:35PM

    I feel the excuses Paul Stephenson Chief Ex of Cheltenham Borough Homes has given for not rehousing poor Maria Hills is clap trap, four months is far too long for her to wait after what some little scum-bag has done to her, a very dear friend of mine was diagnosed back in 2004 with a life threatening debilitating illness and with-in a few weeks CBH had adapted a house for her so I know it can be done, what this young lady has been through is dreadful so making her life comfortable and safe should not be delayed any longer.

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  • lynworth  |  April 18 2013, 6:34PM

    I feel the excuses Paul Stephenson Chief Ex of Cheltenham Borough Homes has given for not rehousing poor Maria Hills is clap trap, four months is far too long for her to wait after what some little scum-bag has done to her, a very dear friend of mine was diagnosed back in 2004 with a life threatening debilitating illness and with-in a few weeks CBH had adapted a house for her so I know it can be done, what this young lady has been through is dreadful so making her life comfortable and safe should not be delayed any longer.

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  • trottergough  |  April 18 2013, 5:53PM

    Im a cheltenham borough homes tennant needing to be moved as my next door neighbor tried to kill me with a hammer. yet Im still waiting. and this was in january. It seems cbh dont really care about tennants in danger or distress. mr stephenson has some work to do

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