Suzy Lamplugh police turned our house into a bomb site... and they still haven’t repaired it
A FAMILY whose home was wrecked by police looking for the body of murdered estate agent Suzy Lamplugh last year are still waiting for it to be repaired.
Search teams tore out the kitchen units, ripped up the floor, and dug up the garden of Phil and Debbie Carey’s home in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, where they live with their two teenage children. The house was targeted because the mother of prime suspect John Cannan used to live there.
But no sign of Ms Lamplugh was found and when the search was called off, officers promised the property would be restored.
Marketing manager Mr Carey, 52, said he and his family had no hesitation in complying when police officers asked them to move out in early November with less than a day’s notice.
He said: ‘It was a massive upheaval but, of course, no one would question that the police must be allowed to do their job and try to find this poor young woman’s body.’
The family were put up in a hotel during the search, which lasted a week, and police assured them that any damage at their home would be made good on a ‘like for like’ basis.
But two months on, the Careys do not have a working kitchen and even had to borrow a friend’s oven to cook their Christmas turkey. Their cupboards, dishwasher, cooker and freezer remain under a tarpaulin on the patio.
‘We knew there would be some damage, but I have to admit we were taken aback when we returned to the house,’ said Mr Carey.
‘It was like a bomb site, with a massive hole in the kitchen floor and all the bottom cupboards chucked out in the garden.’
Since the search ended, the family say the only work that has been completed is to fill the huge hole in the kitchen floor with concrete, although the £3,750 bill has not been paid by the Metropolitan Police.
An £870 bill for laminate flooring was also approved by Scotland Yard, but Mr Carey paid the contractor himself because he did not know how long it would take for the police to pay up. Kitchen fitters have given Mr Carey estimates of about £14,000 to restore the kitchen, but the work has not yet been approved by police.
Local Tory MP Andrew Mitchell has promised to raise the issue with Met Commissioner Cressida Dick, and said: ‘It does seem rather unfair. I am sure the Met will want to speed up their response and make sure the Careys get their house back in good order.’
Ms Lamplugh vanished in Fulham, West London, in 1986 after going to meet a client called ‘Mr Kipper’, who police have long suspected was Cannan, 64, a convicted rapist currently serving life for murder. He denies involvement in her disappearance. Ms Lamplugh was declared dead, presumed murdered, in 1994.
Last night, a Met spokesman said: ‘Detectives continue to liaise with the homeowners and the Met is committed to restoring the property to its condition prior to the work carried out.’
UNITS DUMPED ON THE PATIO wREckED: Phil Carey with his dismantled kitchen. Other pictures show the aftermath of the police operation. Top right: Suzy shortly before her disappearance
...AND GARDEN IS IN RUINS
KITCHEN FLOOR BEFORE IT WAS FIXED
...BUT THERE’S NO KITCHEN