Couple who failed to pay rent admit criminal damage

Taxi driver assaulted by youth with knife in Southsea

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A COUPLE failed to pay their rent and caused hundreds of pounds of damage to a house before they were evicted.

Tenants Malcolm and Rhoda McCoy left behind flea-ridden, trashed carpets and damaged lino in the kitchen of the house where they lived in Folkestone Road, Copnor, Portsmouth.

When they were finally evicted, they had left damage which was valued at around £1,170.

Fareham Magistrates’ Court heard the pair, who are both disabled, moved in to the property in July 2010, paying their deposit and a month’s rent.

But only £100 was paid in rent after that time, despite a county court judgment and a court notice to leave.

McCoy, 54, and 52-year-old wife Rhoda, who now live in Winstanley Road, Stamshaw, Portsmouth, eventually left the property in May last year after bailiffs were called in.

David Ollie, prosecuting, said: ‘The property was in a particular state that a significant amount of work inside needed to be done.

‘In particular, carpets throughout the house needed to be replaced and the lino in the kitchen – not only the lino but also the underlying hardboard.

‘The damage caused to the carpet goes beyond wear. It was flea ridden.’

Chris Wood, defending Mrs McCoy, said the couple were unable to pay their rent due to not receiving their housing benefit.

He said they were unable to find alternative accommodation due to receiving a county court judgment against them because of their rent arrears.

He added: ‘They are people who have a desperate number of problems on their plate.’

The couple, who have no previous convictions, each admitted a charge of causing criminal damage to carpets and fittings at the property.

They were each given a three-month conditional discharge and told to pay £75 in court costs.

No order for compensation was made.

Speaking on behalf of her mum and step-dad, Roxanne Asam said the couple had been through a difficult time.

‘We are quite upset that it’s come to this point,’ she said.

‘There has been stress on my mum and stepfather that’s been unnecessary.

‘We have been a decent, honest family, we belong to the Salvation Army which is important to us and we are not sure how this is going to affect our reputation.

‘As a family we hope it doesn’t.’

CLARE SEMKE

Crime reporter

clare.semke@thenews.co.uk