Pregnant woman ‘freezing’ in council home nightmare as boiler breaks 17 times

A couple with a baby on the way say they are ‘living in a freezer’ after a council failed to fix their boiler which has broken 17 times.

Jamie Pepper, 31, and his pregnant partner Laura Summerfield have endured freezing conditions living with no heating, no hot water, no radiators and no flushing toilet.

The exhausted pair are now forced to sleep on a mattress in the living room to keep warm as they continue to live in sub-zero temperatures, Plymouth Live reports.

The property, in Stonehouse, Plymouth, has come with non-stop problems including broken windows, wonky doors, damaged electrical items and flooding from the repeatedly broken boiler, the couple claim.

Radiators have fallen off rotting walls and promised repair work to the boiler is still yet to take place at the property, which is managed by Sanctuary Housing.

Veteran Jamie has even had to seek help from the Royal British Legion and homeless charity Crisis in an effort to get action taken.

He said: “It literally has been never ending and I am utterly exhausted with it all.

“They have left us without a working toilet.

“When the boiler blew up, the firefighters broke down the door and a temporary one was put in place leaving gaps around the frame.

“The boiler is broken and still not fixed and it is freezing in the place.

“My partner is three months pregnant and I’m ex-military. I’ve had two heart attacks, have spinal damage and am missing two discs.

“We’ve had the boiler repaired 17 times and it still doesn’t work properly.”

Jamie, who worked as a chef at the 25 Regiment Royal Artillery in Aldershot, has had seizures in recent months and also suffers from mental health issues including PTSD.

The professional boxer left the army for compassionate reasons and says the endless issues at his home have become overwhelming.

He said: “When the door was broken it took two years for them to fix it.

“At one point I couldn’t get in or out of the place and had to get a ladder to go up through my bedroom window.

“We’ve had times when there’s no electricity, the leaking boiler damaged the electrics.

“We were put into a hotel while builder and repairs were meant to be done and we were left with nothing.

“Then we came back, the boiler’s still not fixed. It still leaks, it’s freezing cold, there’s radiators falling off the wall because the wall’s so rotted, the toilet doesn’t flush.

“I’ve been told to pour a bucket of water to wash it away, but with my damaged back it’s agony.”

Jamie and Laura, who is three months pregnant, now huddle on a mattress in the living room at night to keep warm.

The British Legion have given the couple shopping vouchers and made phone calls on their behalf and the pair are now left with no money.

As temperatures continue to drop, the couple raised concerns for their baby.

Jamie said: “My partner is pregnant and we’ve no heating, no hot water, no radiators.

“I was told the boiler has been condemned, so why move us back into this place and expect us to live like this?”

Sanctuary Housing, one of the UK’s leading social landlords, say they have provided significant support and a new boiler is due to be fitted on December 15.

A spokesperson said: “Our local housing and maintenance staff have provided a significant amount of support to Mr Pepper in relation to his property and while the situation is not always straightforward, they will continue to offer him assistance in line with the tenancy agreement for the flat.

“The new boiler is due to be installed on Tuesday, December 15.

“In the meantime, temporary electric heaters have been provided for Mr Pepper to use and he can claim a refund for the extra energy these heaters may use.

“We have also replaced a damaged door at the property as a short-term measure and the new door will be fitted as a permanent replacement as soon as it arrives.”