Agoraphobic trapped in Harold Hill house for 61 years is being evicted

11:25 15 June 2012

Sandra Stracey

Sandra Stracey's condition means that she is scared to go out in public places


A 69-year-old woman who was left virtually housebound after she was shot in the face at 16, is facing eviction from the council house that she has lived in for most of her life.

Sandra Stracey, who suffers from anxiety disorder, agrophobia fears that moving out of her house in Leyburn Road, Harold Hill of 61 years will kill her.

She said: “The house is all I have and the thought of moving out makes me more worried.”

In December last year, Sandra was issued with an eviction notice when her mum, Frances Stracey died aged 96.

Homes In Havering (HiH) say that she has to move out of her three bedroom home because the tenancy can’t be passed on again, as it was passed on to her mother after the death of her father, James in 1993.

HIH have told Sandra that she can stay in the property until she is assessed, but Sandra says that it will be difficult for her to leave.

She said: “This place is like my shell, its my only security.

“When I went in hospital once, they had to send me home straight away because my blood pressure just went through the roof.”

Sandra, who hasn’t been out of her house on her own other than to go to her corner shop, moved into the house when she was eight with her sisters Christine, Beverely and brother Alan.

When she was 16, Sandra was shot in her face while at her friend’s house.

For the next 25 years, Sandra says that she refused to leave her house and for most of the time stayed locked in her room.

While her brother and sisters got married and moved away, her condition meant that she was unable to leave home.

She said: “It was all taken away from me because I did not leave the house for 25 years after the accident.

“When I went into the house we were using shillings and then when I came out after 25 years everything had completely changed.”

Sandra says that she can’t leave the house on her own, apart from to go to the corner shop, which is two minutes away.

She relies on a close knit team of neighbours who take her to the shop and help to run errands for her.

The furthest away from her home she has been is to Essex and that has been with a neighbour by her side.

A spokesman for Homes In Havering said that they would help Sandra to find her own suitable accomodation.

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