Northern Ireland news

Cancer patient and son who claimed snails crawled around their damp property receive £10,000

John and Patrick Lyttle sued Choice Housing Ireland Ltd over the condition of a rented property

A cancer patient and his son who claimed snails regularly crawled around their damp rented accommodation are to receive more than £10,000 in damages.

John and Patrick Lyttle sued Choice Housing Ireland Ltd amid allegations their health suffered due to the state of their east Belfast home.

Lawyers contended that the social housing provider was negligent in failing to properly maintain and repair the terraced property at Reid Street.

Their action was settled at Belfast County Court with 63-year-old John Lyttle set to receive £7,500 and Patrick (28) being paid £3,000.

In 2007 the Lyttles moved to Reid Street - then under the control of a different housing association - after being intimidated from their previous home.

Legal action was launched two years ago amid continuing grievances about the standard of the property.

Papers in the case claimed there were failures to prevent snails crawling around the living room, stop damp and rain water coming in, and to replace bathroom facilities.

The state of the three-bedroom accommodation contributed to breathing problems and depression, it was alleged.

Outside court Mr Lyttle Snr, who has received treatment for cancer and a serious heart condition, insisted disabled facilities which were recommended for his needs should be fitted to bring the home up to standard.

He added: "I'm seriously ill, and my son has depression and anxiety just thinking about it.

"There's damp, skirt boards were hanging off, water was getting in and we regularly found snails and their trails over the carpet."

A spokesperson for Choice said it does not comment on individual cases.

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