Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

We Actually Enjoy Living in This So Just Leave Us Alone; Smelly Pair Don't Know What All the Fuss Is About

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

We Actually Enjoy Living in This So Just Leave Us Alone; Smelly Pair Don't Know What All the Fuss Is About

Article excerpt

Byline: By ROB PATTINSON

RISING damp scars the walls while weeks of rubbish litter the floors.

Welcome to the home of a couple at the centre of an eviction row.

But as they stand among piles of rubbish, cat food and hair, Ann Rushton and Michael Cassidy said they really don't know what all the fuss is about.

Ann has been staying with Michael since she was kicked out of Monk Court, in Gateshead town centre, by housing bosses for stinking out neighbours with the foul odour from her flat.

Riled residents complained the 31-year-old made their lives a misery by letting her home deteriorate to such a point it was not fit for human habitation.

Now Michael could be facing the boot too, after neighbours complained about the stench from his home.

The 55-year-old is being taken to court for the dismal state of his Milling Court property, in Teams.

He has also refused to grant concerned housing officers from the Gateshead Housing Company access to his home for routine checks.

Devout churchgoers Ann and Michael allowed the Chronicle into the flat they share to reveal its true state.

We found rugs and sheets hanging where curtains should be, letting little light into the musty rooms.

Piles of paper, books, and bags sit among mud stains on the carpet-less floor.

And bags of rubbish sit piled on kitchen benches and next to a bed.

Ann, whose Monk Court flat had to be fumigated after bailiffs turfed her out, said: "I just hope we find somewhere to live eventually."

Monk Court residents, glad to see the back of her, spoke of their relief.

Chloe Skee, 19, who lives opposite the horror home, said: "My parents wouldn't even come and visit me because the smell was so bad.

"You could smell it as soon as you got off the lift. It was just grim. It made me sick. I would just gag if I didn't put my shirt over my nose.

"She always seemed nice enough, but you can still see flea bites on my legs from where they came into my flat from hers. I'm just glad she's gone."

A 45-year-old neighbour said: "She always seemed fine, but you could smell them coming when they got off the lift.

"I saw in there while the door was open the other day. …

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