Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Now It Can Be Told- Part 4

I am nearing the end of writing about this 'episode.' Please just bear with me as I complete it. I have written it in installments as it was going to take quite a while to write and it was easier to read it in these installments. I think maybe one more installment will complete it, so a little more patience is required of my readers. I just hope it might be of use to others who may come up against similar situations.
Once we had the rental agreement sorted for the new house, and we knew for certain that we were moving, we organised friends of Carol's from the Academy to help in moving. We also had someone from church who helped with transporting our sofa, as our car wasn't big enough. We had to dismantle most of our furniture, which is from IKEA, such as our bed, bookshelves and wardrobes. We managed to ferry quite a lot of stuff over about the period of one  week or so (maybe more) as the new house was vacant. Then, over one weekend we managed to move the remainder or the most essential items, but there was still a lot of stuff in the garage which we were never going to be able to sort out and then transport. As Carol and I had only married in 2007, we had a lot of my things from my flat in Bedford in storage in the garage, such as a fridge-freezer, bits of furniture, a computer  and books, as well as Carol's boys mountain bikes. We never considered when we were going to sort this lot out. At the time of our initial moving we just wanted to get our basic items out of the old house and into the new, such as beds, the sofa and things to eat off, as well as our clothes. 
Once moved in, with the wardrobes reassembled, along with our bed, pots and pans, books and so on, we drew a sigh of relief. We then had to go to the bank and cancel the Direct Debit for the rent for Copper Homes. Throughout all this they had not the slightest idea that we were moving.
Then, one morning, around about the beginning of March (I think it was a Friday) I got a surprise phone call on my mobile from this woman from Copper Homes. She wanted to know why our rent hadn't been paid. I should have said something like 'oh dear, I don't know what's happened. Perhaps there's a problem with the bank or something. I'll go and deal with it!' Instead, I said that we'd moved.  I said I wasn't prepared to tell them where we'd moved to, and said this was due to their inability to help us with the repairs, the rats and so on. With that I put the phone down. Well, they would never have known that we hadn't moved unless we'd told them. If we had we'd be expected to pay another month's rent. They were only interested in the rent, not the state of the house and most certainly not bothered about our welfare.
Later that morning my stepson, Daniel, and I, made another trip to the house in Crownhill to collect some more things, particularly his black leather reclining armchair. We got to the house and had to dismantle this chair before we could put it in the back of the car. There were bags and boxes of clothes, books, kitchen equipment and other items left in the house ready to simply load into the car and take away. We managed to put a load of things in the car, including the chair, when I came out of the house to find the front path blocked by Neil Brown, a woman and two decidedly dodgy characters, who emerged from what looked like a Luton furniture van. I had 'words' with Mr Brown (I'm afraid I let him have a tirade which was really me being angry regarding what he had done (or not done) for us, the state of the house, the rats and the repairs which should have been done, but weren't. They looked decidedly menacing, so me and Daniel left. I'm not certain what they intended doing, but I wasn't hanging around to find out.
Carol and I decided that, since the things left in the house and the garage weren't of any great significance, we'd forget about them and leave them. We had, of course, intended on collecting all of these things, but as we now had a decent new home to live in, with working central heating, and a landlord who at least bothered about the condition of the home and our welfare, it didn't seem worth the effort to go back and collect this stuff, if it also meant threats and misery from Brown and his henchmen.
We didn't think any more of anything that was left in the house at Crownhill until several weeks later. Carol got a visit at the Academy from a Mr Wayne Turner (Environmental Officer at Milton Keynes Council) and a Policeman. I think she was somewhat upset by this at first, but when they told her that they had found some of our belongings, or what appeared to be our belongings, flytipped in a carpark in Simpson. They had found some documents with our name on, and could we tell them why these items might be there? They came to our house and we had to give statements. I said that I was quite prepared to stand up in court and give evidence, and that I believed that Copper Homes and in particular, Neil Brown, was responsible for the flytipping. They had made it seem as if we had been responsible as there was a milk carton full of petrol and with rags stuffed in the spout which made it look as if we were going to set fire to the tipped items so as to cover things up. There was also a lot of bundles of old papers there which were certainly not ours which were also there to make it look as if we'd dumped the things there.
Two weeks ago Carol got a message on her mobile asking her to ring Wayne Turner. He came to see us and we had to go through the statement again and also, with the use of digital photographs taken at the scene of the flytipping, identify where possible our belongings and he made an inventory. All this evidence was used against the man who was alledged to have dumped our belongings, one John Fleming. They had been to Court the weeks before Christmas for a court hearing, but the actual trial was last Wednesday and Thursday.


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