Mum hits out after teenage son pricks himself on used needle in derelict building

A teenager faces months of precautionary Hepatitis B jabs after pricking himself on a used syringe in a derelict former council hostel for the homeless.

The Combs, off Hall Lane in Thornhill, Dewsbury

Now his mother has called for swift action to secure or demolish The Combs, off Hall Lane in Thornhill, Dewsbury, which is a haven for drug addicts and has become a magnet for local youngsters.

The dilapidated complex, which was earmarked for housing after being offloaded by Kirklees Council, was originally Combs Hill School.

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It was converted into temporary accommodation for the homeless in the 1990s.

In 2016, the council submitted an application to knock down the buildings to make way for around 30 new homes. But five years on the overgrown eyesore, surrounded by collapsed security fencing, continues to deteriorate.

The mother of the 13-year-old who hurt himself said the site needs to be made safe and she also asked that her name and her son’s were not made public.

“There’s a room inside the building and the kids call it the needle room because it’s full of needles," she said.

“My son fell onto a needle. It drew blood. I took him to the hospital for a tetanus jab and they said he needed pre- and post- Hepatitis B jabs every month until November, and then in June next year.

“He also needs blood tests. That’s potentially life-changing for him and all of us. I’m gutted.”

She accepted that her son and others were “technically trespassing” on the Combs site but argued that a lack of local play areas meant youngsters sought other forms of adventure.

“Whether it’s dangerous or not they are still going to do stupid stuff because they are kids. If there’s nothing for them to do locally they’ll find their own entertainment.

“Children have found their way in there but addicts use it as well. At the end of the day something needs to be done – someone needs to pay for what has happened.

“That building is not safe. It should have been maintained. How many more kids are going to get hurt in that same building before something is done about it?

“It needs to be knocked down or completely boarded up.”

The mother said she reported the issue to Kirklees Council but was told they had no contact details for the owners of The Combs site.

Local councillor Masood Ahmed (Lab, Dewsbury South) expressed alarm at the injured boy’s situation and said The Combs had been a target for fly-tipping but was not aware it was being used by addicts.

He pledged to raise it with the council and the police.

“As time has gone by the council has been liaising with the developer and trying to get housing on that site," he said.

“The building needs securing and making safe. I understand that was done. Obviously it needs sorting out again to stop kids getting in.”

A Kirklees Council spokesperson said: “Firstly, I’d like to just say my thoughts are with the child involved in this incident and wish him the very best during what will be a worrying time for him and his family.

“It’s not acceptable that the property is in its current state and the owner needs to put sufficient security in place to prevent an incident like this happening.

“The building is privately owned, so is not within our control, but we will be inspecting the site and contacting the owner urgently to make sure they put the right measures in place to make it safe.

“We’ll also be advising them to demolish the building as soon as possible. We’re urging everyone to stay away from the site and not to enter it.”