£1,450 legal bill shock for pensioner

A PENSIONER whose flat became infested with maggots after a dead body in the home above went undiscovered for weeks failed in his bid for compensation.

And he will have to pay the £1,450 bill legal costs of the housing association he tried to sue.

Alan Hawkins wanted £4,500 from Raglan housing association in compensation for the disruption caused by the bugs after hundreds fell through lighting fixtures having feasted on the decaying body above.

The 82-year-old was forced to move out of his home into another, smaller flat in the same block while builders and cleaners gutted his home of the maggots and blue bottles.

He was given £570 in expenses to bring the temporary flat up to the same level as his permanent home in Highland Lodge, but he believed the 10 weeks it took was too long and the work carried out was not to a satisfactory standard.

Speaking at Eastbourne County Court this week, Mr Hawkins said, “The infestation meant a lot of work had to be done. It was done very badly and took far too long.”

He also said that after he moved in he found more maggots four days after the cleaners left and had to move around 500 books to brush away dozens of dead flies and blue bottles.

However, Amy Kelly, defending for Raglan, said the firm had acted as quickly as possible to remove the dead body, carried out all the work needed and had provided Mr Hawkins with alternative accommodation throughout.

District judge John Robinson agreed and ordered Mr Hawkinsto pay the full costs of the defence.

He said, “I certainly have sympathy for Mr Hawkins and the very unpleasant circumstances he found himself in but the sympathy goes no further than that.

“I deplore he saw fit to bring this claim – the amount was a shocking overestimate.

“When misfortune befalls us in life it is not the case that somebody must be at fault.”

Responding to the ruling Mr Hawkins, who said he had to walk over maggots during night time trips to the toilet, said, “I am disappointed that having suffered all this I am having to pay for it. I was hoping for some compensation.”