Suzy Lam­plugh po­lice turned our house into a bomb site... and they still haven’t re­paired it

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - Paul Sinclair - By Nick Craven and Chris­tine Chal­land

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




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