Belfast Telegraph

Man rages at PSNI over broken door

Bob Malcolm

An east Belfast man with hearing difficulties has been waiting for 10 months to have his front door fixed, after the PSNI broke it down.

The incident occurred after Thomas McCord had left his keys and phone in his father’s house and walked out after calling suicide helpline Lifeline on May 21 last year.

Seeing the phone and keys, his worried dad, Tommy, phoned the police to ask them to help find him.

Police officers broke down his son’s Mersey Street door — but Tommy says they knew he was not in the house at the time.

He also said that the police knew there was no point ringing Thomas jr’s mobile as they had told him to keep it turned off after he received threatening messages.

Tommy sr said: “I told the police I was concerned because he left his house keys and phone.

“It made me think he wasn’t going home, I told them what happened and shortly after that they came to the house.”

He said: “I showed them my son’s keys on two occasions and specifically told them not to damage my son’s house.”

He continued: “Twenty minutes later they came back and said he wasn’t in the house.

“I said I already knew that because he left his keys and I was raging at them for putting the door through.”

Thomas jr said: “They said they had tried to contact me, but they had told me to turn my phone off. Even if they had have been ringing me, I wouldn’t be able to hear them.

“The lady next door was pleading with them not to break the door down because she knew I wasn’t there, and when they were banging on the door she told them I wouldn’t be able to hear them.”

Now Thomas, who is on benefits, is facing a hefty bill to repair the door as the police are refusing to pay for the work.

“Connswater Housing said they wanted £826 to repair the door. They wanted half up front before they would fix it.

“I’m on benefits and can’t afford that — but I was willing to pay for it to get it fixed,” he said.

Thomas and his father said they were both disgusted by the attitude of the police.

They said they had the utmost respect for the police but that ‘they were out of order that night’.

A PSNI spokeswoman said: “We do not comment on individual cases and cannot comment because this is an ongoing investigation.”

However, The CT has seen a PSNI report into the incident which states the entry was “lawful under Article 19 of the Police and Criminal Evidence order and the search was properly conducted.

“The logs confirm the forced entry but also confirmed the evidence of the extensive work done by officers to find the son.”

A Connswater Housing spokeswoman said: “An agreement has been reached with Mr McCord. We have offered to fix the door once he pays half of the cost.”

The Housing Association stated he had agreed to pay £5 a week to have to door fixed however Mr McCord said he had not and would not agree on such ‘disgraceful’ terms as it would take him 80 weeks to get the door fixed.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph