Father and daughter to be evicted from council home over theft of boiler

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A COUNCIL tenant who made money from the theft of a boiler from his previous home is being evicted.

Thomas Smith and his daughter Melanie, 22, have until January 25 to leave their home in Kyle Crescent, Southey Green, Sheffield, or face the bailiffs. Their eviction follows a trial at Sheffield County Court at which a judge told the pair that they had showed no remorse for a serious crime that could have potentially resulted in the loss of life when the boiler was removed.

Both were accused of making money from the theft of a boiler from Mr Smith’s previous council home in Dryden Road, Southey Green, on March 5 after he failed to return the keys.

Sheffield Council officials said Melanie Smith reported the theft as a burglary but police concluded it was staged.

She admitted she had allowed others into the property to remove the boiler, receiving £50 for herself, and was issued with an £80 fine for wasting police time.

Her father denied knowing about his daughter’s actions until after the event and argued he should not lose his home, the council said.

However, officials said that when a housing officer told him it would cost around £3,000 to replace the boiler, Mr Smith said he should have asked for more money for it.

His daughter told police that someone had approached her on Facebook offering £50 for the boiler and that her father had said he wanted the money first, although she denied this in court.

The council’s claim for possession of the Kyle Crescent property due to illegal activity resulted in an outright possession order.

Council chiefs in Sheffield say there has been a spate of boiler thefts from empty council properties.

Coun Harry Harpham, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for homes and neighbourhoods, said: “We really hope this court case acts as a deterrent to anyone who thinks stealing boilers is an easy way to make money.

“You could lose your home but more importantly, you could be putting lives at risk by taking part in this extremely dangerous and serious crime.”