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Wales Online
Wales Online
Harrison Moore, SWNS & Stephanie Wareham

Family left 'to freeze' for 8 months after masked men smash their windows with hammers

A freezing family spent eight months over winter without glass in the front door and window of their housing association home after it was raided by masked men. Anthony Corkill, 38, was asleep last year when masked men used hammers to break into his home last summer.

They took nothing and police quickly dropped the case, and his landlords, PA Housing, used planks of wood to board up the damage. But, it took them eight months to replace the glass - during which time Anthony and his family were left to suffer the cold.

Temperatures inside his home dropped to an estimated couple degrees the family said, and they could even see their own breaths on the coldest days. Anthony, from Leicester, said: "On PA's website it says all maintenance requests should be dealt with within 15 days. But, after eight months, we were still waiting for the them to send someone round and replace the glass - it was a nightmare."

Anthony and his family were left shaken when masked men used hammers to break into their home in August, 2022. The perpetrators smashed the glass panels in their front door and in their living room window - but never entered the property.

Leicestershire Police investigated, and a hammer that was left behind was sent off to be tested. But shortly after, they concluded that the attack was likely a result of mistaken identity, and dropped the case.

In the meantime, PA Housing sent someone round to board up the window and front door with wood to temporarily replace the glass. The housing association were under an obligation to fix the damage, but despite constantly chasing them, Anthony says nobody came.

He said: "My wife was sleeping on the sofa on the night of the attack, and the shattered glass showered over her. She suffers from PTSD as a result, and we now struggle to feel safe in our own home.

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"Originally PA came out and boarded up the gaps, which was fine as a temporary fix. But after that, I couldn't get hold of anyone and when winter rolled in, the temperature started to drop.

"I have three kids, one of whom is autistic, and we were literally left to freeze. It was pointless to have the heating on, as we still had the cold coming through, so we relied on duvets and blankets - we really struggled to stay warm."

The masked attackers took nothing and police quickly dropped the case, saying it was a case of mistaken identity - but Anthony's family were still left with broken windows (SWNS)

Last month, Anthony emailed the head office explaining his situation. They eventually got back to him, and gave him a date of February 27 for the work to be completed.

But, predictably, the contractor didn't show up, and consequently, the job was pushed back again. The glass was finally fitted on March 2.

The family's damaged windows (SWNS)

Anthony, a stay at home dad-of-three, said: "The head office assured me the glass would be put in on February 27. It had been eight months, so to be given a date I felt really relieved.

"But that relief was short lived, after I waited all day for the contractor, who never turned up. They finally came and fitted the new glass yesterday (March 2), and the job took a maximum of an hour and a half. The fact they left us to suffer like we did is unacceptable, and PA need to be held responsible."

Landlords, PA Housing, used planks of wood to board up the damage, but it took them eight months to replace the glass - during which time Anthony and his family were left to suffer the cold (SWNS)

A spokesperson for PA Housing said: “We’re really sorry for the experience Mr Corkill and his family has had. Following the incident last year, we did board the windows and door as an interim measure to make his home safe until the repairs could be completed.

Anthony Corkill (Anthony Corkill)

"However, it should not have taken this long to replace them. We have escalated Mr Corkill’s complaint and arranged for our contractor to carry out the repair tomorrow (March 2). Once completed, we will be working closely with Mr Corkill to ensure he is compensated for the delay and unacceptable service he has received.”

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