Cruel thieves take advantage of fire victim

THIEVES have taken cruel advantage of the Sackville Road fire tragedy by stripping a handicapped victim's flat of its furnishings.

Thursday, 23rd September 2004, 2:34 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 8:08 pm

Anguished mother Christine Britton told this week how she had found a new flat for her son, Darren Mathews, and arranged for removers to shift his belongings.

But when they arrived they found furniture - including a heavy ottoman - gone.

"My son's flat was damaged in the Sackville Road fire. He lived next door, at the rear.

"I have found him another flat at Cooper Drive, Sidley. This morning I arranged for the removers Witham Brothers to move his stuff - only to find that someone had been there before us.

"His was the only flat that didn't have a front door. The firefighters had to bash it in when they came searching for him. But fortunately he was out at the time of the fire.

"I didn't bother to put up the door on the flat because there is a front door to the block. But someone must have been 'in the know' because a lot of his stuff has gone.

"He has lost an ottoman, a chest of drawers, a wardrobe and a microwave."

Christine and her husband had spent two weeks decorating the flat for Darren and laying carpets.

"He'd only been in there for two and a half months. I am that angry that people can do that to someone. I wouldn't have imagined that anyone could sink that low..."

Well known church worker Sheila Hill died in last month's town centre blaze.