HOUSE LEFT TRASHED

Fam­ily’s filthy state of liv­ing a disturbing find for land­lord

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page - By MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY Matthew.McIn­er­ney@apn.com.au

YOU CAN smell it be­fore you get to the door.

It wafts out of the win­dows, the gaps be­tween the doors and the floor – the over­pow­er­ing stench clings to the nos­trils and is im­pos­si­ble to shake.

Another wave wafts out when the door is opened, and the grav­ity of what is inside the “house from hell” makes the blood boil, the tears well up and leaves you shocked and speech­less.

Books lie strewn across the ground among bits of rub­bish and the re­mains of other books have been used by rats to build their nests in desk draw­ers through­out the house.

The chil­dren’s bath­room is a mess. The basin is cov­ered in left­over ce­real, while the mud-stained bath is full of cig­a­rette butts and a foul stench.

The rest of the McIl­wraith St, Childers, house does not get any bet­ter, and the se­ri­ous­ness of the scene sinks in when you re­mem­ber five young chil­dren lived in what should have been a home.

Prop­erty owner Viv Jocum­sen kicked the pre­vi­ous ten­ants out last week after his first in­spec­tion in about eight months, and was mor­ti­fied when he had a closer look ear­lier this week.

“I had an op­er­a­tion on my arm so I hadn’t been out for a while,” the re­tired me­chanic said.

“They said it was im­mac­u­late but I told them I’d be there. When I ar­rived they were clean­ing up but it was hor­ri­ble.

“When I opened the front door it was black.”

It wasn’t the huge mess on the ground nor the mouldy walls that left the big­gest im­pres­sion on Mr Jocum­sen – the sight of five small chil­dren was too much to take.

“One of the kids was try­ing to get around all of this mess,” Mr Jocum­sen said.

“It breaks your heart see­ing kids like that. They shouldn’t have to live like that.”

Mr Jocum­sen said he could prob­a­bly get away with $30,000 to clean the house, but couldn’t start the process un­til the in­surance com­pa­nies had been through.

But the clean­li­ness of the in­vest­ment prop­erty he has owned for eight years was merely a side­note to his main con­cern, which was the wel­fare of the chil­dren.

Neigh­bours said they reg­u­larly had to put up with loud mu­sic and scream­ing voices, in ad­di­tion to the smell that in­vaded their home.

It is un­der­stood Child Safety Ser­vices were not con­tacted.

Childers of­fi­cer-in-charge Sergeant Ge­off Fay said he could not act ear­lier as no­body had re­ported in­ci­dents to po­lice.

Sgt Fay said peo­ple could con­tact po­lice di­rectly, or phone Crime Stop­pers anony­mously on 1800 333 000.

PHOTO: MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

HEART­BREAK­ING: House owner Viv Jocum­sen as­sesses the dam­age left be­hind by pre­vi­ous ten­ants.

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