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From a scabies ridden flat in Linden to a Matson Avenue nightmare

By The Citizen  |  Posted: November 11, 2013

  • Christopher Stevens and Sarah Elder

  • The Matson Avenue flat

  • fed up: Christopher Stevens and partner Sarah Elder, in their flat. Above, the mouldy window frames and wall at the flat.

Comments (25)

FROM a damp and insect-infested home, to a scabies-ridden room, to a mouldy flat.

Christopher Stevens and his partner Sarah Elder haven't had the best luck with houses.

In November 2011, the couple moved into a privately rented Barton Street flat, but soon after they arrived, damp was discovered in the walls and wood lice were found living in the windows.

In February this year, they were moved into a bedsit in Linden with their baby Roman by Gloucester City Council, but Mr Stevens claimed there was scabies in the building.

Now, Mr Stevens says their new Matson Avenue flat is in such a bad condition it is making him and his family ill.

He said: "We have had to move my son out because the damp is so bad and I have been coughing up blood too.

"My partner and I now have to live in the living room because it's the only room that is habitable. We eat, live and sleep in there.

"All the electrics are shot too. When we first got here, I plugged my DVD player and my XBox360 in and they both blew up."

He added: "We are happy to stay where we are rather than move again but a lot of work needs to be done in pretty much every room. We have been told to wait 12 months though.

"None of the windows are sealed properly and we are having to spend £25 a week on gas."

Gloucester City Homes chief executive Ashley Green said: "Through our repair and improvement programmes, we are committed to ensuring that all our residents are able to live in homes that meet the Decent Homes Standard.

"We have been working with Mr Stevens and Miss Elder to resolve a number of issues they have reported to us regarding their home, all of which we have addressed within our agreed time scales.

"They have told us that they are experiencing condensation in their home and our surveyor and housing officer visited them earlier this week and advised them about preventative measures they can take to reduce condensation at the property as well as arranging for some minor works to help them to achieve this."

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25 comments

  • Stuartl2010  |  November 18 2013, 8:45AM

    Maybe if he got off his backside and did some jobs around the house or maybe even, shock horror get a job himself (?!) and she hadn't of spent the £7300 she stole from her previous victim (sorry, partner) they could afford to rent somewhere of their own choice. Instead they have a child which is presumably going to be supported by us taxpayers, countless other benefits and they still want more. Disgusting scroungers.

    |   14
  • GlosAnarchy  |  November 16 2013, 11:07PM

    A BINMAN was left £7,000 out of pocket after his girlfriend plundered his bank account. Richard Howells lost £7,360 to Sarah Elder when the two were living together in Lydney. Mum-of-two Elder, who is pregnant with her third child, pleaded guilty to 10 charges of theft and six of fraud against Mr Howells. But she walked free from court after Judge Richard Bromilow sentenced her to a six-month community order with supervision and a four-month curfew from 8pm to 6am every night.Elder, now in a new relationship and living in Barton Street, Gloucester, was also ordered to attend a probation programme for female offenders. But the judge said he would not make any compensation order because she has no means of repaying her ex-boyfriend. "It is quite clear from what Mr Howells has said that he trusted you. He was a hard-working man and you rifled his bank accounts. He has lost out." Daughters Elder initially denied the charges – causing the police to carry out a long and expensive investigation, the judge said. She pleaded guilty only four days before a jury trial was due to begin. Judge Bromilow told Elder he was sure her two daughters, aged 13 and 14, would be ashamed of her for what she had done. Prosecutor Lisa Hennessy said Mr Howells never saw any of his bank statements when he was living with Elder and no idea she had started spending his money. She said Elder regularly withdrew money from cash machines at Lloyds and Tesco in Lydney and also the Halifax in Gloucester. She also used his cards to buy goods in shops as well as asking for cash back on the purchases. Her offences came to light in February 2010 when he tried to use his bank card in a cash machine and it was refused. Sarah Jenkins, defending, said Elder's offences were "unsophisticated" and she was a woman with "difficulties", including a cannabis problem. Read more: http://tinyurl.com/p88k3qa Follow us: @thisisglos on Twitter | thisisgloucestershire on Facebook

    |   5
  • GlosAnarchy  |  November 16 2013, 11:04PM

    CariadFox - hmmm if that is her and it looks like it is that explains a lot!

    |   -1
  • Saffy  |  November 16 2013, 8:03PM

    I will never know why people leave themselves open for public ridicule by partaking in these stories, its nearly as bad as going on Jeremy Kyle. Oh and where do I send the cheque to donate towards the new x box!?

    |   9
  • lewipaul  |  November 16 2013, 6:34PM

    Feel sorry for the poor kid bought up in these conditions, hasnt anybody ever told this bloke its his job to provide for his family.

    |   5
  • supernova1  |  November 16 2013, 10:49AM

    I really did need a good laugh after the night I've had at work. You guys with your comments just kill me..........LOL!

    |   5
  • CariadFox  |  November 14 2013, 9:12PM
    |   5
  • optamist123  |  November 12 2013, 2:10PM

    Have the press got nothing better to write about, these lazy scumbags have been in the paper before whinging about the last place they lived in. Why don't the get off there butts get a job and clean the place they are in.

    |   29
  • valhalla2010  |  November 12 2013, 10:35AM

    Surely if the electrics are "shot" there is a safety issue, after all if his X Box has been broken how can he be expected to live there? As others have said- get off your sofa and get some cleaning materials from Wilko's. Do something to resolve the issues, be a man and do something for your family. On the other side of the world thousands have just died in a tornado, thousands more have lost everything, and thousands more will die from illness and de-hydration. This bloke can't even be bothered to clean his provided accommodation.

    |   44
  • QwertyOS  |  November 12 2013, 8:40AM

    A pair of serial whiners who expect all and everyone to sort out their problems. Not the first time they have been to the press For starters, they could sort the mould out themselves (try google for info), give the place a good clean. Open the windows. It is amazing what a bit of elbow grease and brillo pads can achieve, I did it on my first place. Yes I was renting, but felt I should take a bit of responsibility. They could then give it a coat of PVA and lick of paint, all for a few quid. They could negotiate a rent decrease for a couple of months with the landlord. Get up of your behinds and do something instead of going to the press every couple of months.

    |   32

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