CamdenNewJournal

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‘I went to prison and when I came out I’d been burgled’

Woman accuses Camden of not securing her council flat while she was in jail

14 March, 2019 — By Tom Foot

Angela Cena’s ransacked flat

A WOMAN says she came home to a burgled council flat after a stint in prison – and is blaming the council for not securing her home while she was locked up.

Angela Cena said Camden had failed in its landlord duties while she served just under a month in Bronzefield Women’s Prison in Kent. The 37-year-old, who lives in Gospel Oak, said she had pleaded guilty to aggravated assault on a man.

But when she came home on March 6 she found her home ransacked, her belongings taken and even her dog Dash’s water bowl had been taken. The burglars broke in through a broken back door, which Ms Cena says she had reported to the Town Hall several times.

Ms Cena, who has lived in the council flat for eight years, said: “They took the TV, DVDs – they took half of my clothes. Why would you take my clothes? And personal items, like photos and letters. They took photos off my walls. They stole my cat and dog’s feeding bowls. Most strangely, the bath mat. They got my passport, which is a real pain in the ass. It was like a tornado had been through it.”

Ms Cena said she had contacted a friend and neighbour about her back door but was told by the estate officer that nothing would be done. Days later, the flat was burgled and her dog ran away, but was later reclaimed from Battersea Dog’s Home.

She said: “Basically, the door doesn’t lock properly and I’ve been on at them about fixing it for five years since it was broken into before. I have been kind of tying it up but really it is quite easy for it to be pulled apart. The council haven’t been up to fix it – they don’t do jack all. It’s a simple job. They are just French doors.”

Ms Cena, who works in a burger restaurant in Leicester Square, said she had more than three weeks in prison and hoped never to return.

Camden’s housing chief Councillor Meric Apak said: “When a council property is left unattended and open, we will always make it secure as a matter of urgency. In this instance, as confirmed by the police, the tenant left a friend to oversee the property and also take care of their pets. “The tenant has not reported a faulty door, or indeed any other faults or repairs to the council in recent years. If they have any outstanding issues I urge them to contact their housing officer as soon as possible.”

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