October 21st, 2016

Desperate family says flat unsafe

Updated: 10:16 am, Sep 02, 2016

A MUM is scared to let her daughter go outside her own Leamington home after the youngster picked up a foil wrapper discarded by drug users and nearly put it in her mouth.

Sophie Bedford and partner Arron Mulready live in a flat in Radcliffe Gardens off Brunswick Street with their two young children.

Three-year-old Layla suffers from autism which leaves her with complex issues such as aggression, sleeping problems and sensitivity.

Mum Sophie says Layla’s condition improves when she is outside, but is worried to let her child play outside the flats after a close-call with discarded foil and needles left by drug users.

Sophie, who is a full-time manager at a bookmakers, told the Observer: “Our daughter has sensory issues and eats anything. She doesn’t think before putting things in her mouth, one day she nearly mouthed a piece of tinfoil left in the block by drug users.

“Layla also doesn’t wear shoes as her feet are very sensitive. There have been needles left around the flats and I’m scared to let her go outside. I walk the area before I allow her to come out now.”

The family say they need to move from the two bedroom flat as it is ‘completely unsuitable’ for their daughter’s needs. The youngster shares a room with her two-year-old brother Tyler, who is also being tested for autism.

But Layla can be aggressive towards her brother and wakes several times a night, so Sophie is forced to sleep on the sofa with her.

Sophie is now calling for Warwick District Council to move them to a house where their daughter can have her own room and a safe garden.

She said: “We have applied to the council to be moved on medical grounds.

“The communal stairs are completely unsuitable for children, let alone our daughter. She has major meltdowns as we come from outside to inside, loses all self awareness and has no idea what she is doing. She has fallen through the stairs over four times now and there is nothing as parents we can do to stop it.

“My partner is a stay at home dad and Layla’s full-time carer. When I am at work it is physically impossible to get our children in and out of the flat safely.

“My daughter can’t cope here anymore and neither can I. I am anxious, depressed and exhausted all of the time.

“I can’t express how badly affected our family is.”

The council say they are working to address anti-social behaviour in the district, and with demand for housing exceeding supply, prioritise housing according to need.

A spokeswoman said: “While the council are unable to comment on individual cases, I can confirm that we are aware of this case and have been in contact with the family to offer the appropriate advice and guidance.

“The council also works proactively to address issues of anti-social behaviour.”