'mistaken identity' | 

Mum battling to secure home for Christmas after cops kicked door in during ‘mistaken identity’ bust

Mum of one says she’s missing out on important post and can’t leave her home unguarded in case they get robbed.

Chantelle shows her damaged door

Chantelle Collins in her Mount Vernon flat this week

Mount Vernon flats

Steven MooreSunday World

A woman is being forced to spend Christmas with a smashed front door after cops kicked it in four months ago, she claimed this week.

Chantelle Collins claims police officers busted down her flat door at Ross House, Mount Vernon in north Belfast in September in what she says was a case of mistaken identity.

Police confirmed “no offences were detected” but say they were responding to a report of “concern for safety”.

But she says the Housing Executive have left her and her partner Philip Andrews, who she shares the flat with, without a secure front door since.

The mum of one says she’s missing out on important post and can’t leave her home unguarded in case they get robbed.

“The cops got the wrong house,” Chantelle says. “We weren’t even in. When we came back the neighbours told us, ‘look what the police have done to your door’.

“We were told they even got the wrong block of flats. They were looking for someone across the way.

“I had to put a piece of wood at the bottom of the door so we could close it at night. We’ve been left like this for months.

letterbox

“The postman keeps returning the post because we don’t have a letterbox. I applied for a budgeting loan for Christmas and it doesn’t look like I’m going to get it because all our post ends up getting sent back.”

The Housing Executive say they are waiting for a replacement door to arrive but Chantelle says it’s taking “far too long”.

Chantelle Collins in her Mount Vernon flat this week

“I was calling the Housing Executive every day and they were telling me they’d ordered the door but there had been issues with strikes over maintenance workers,” Chantelle explained.

“I’m phoning up every day because you can’t be left with a door like that – especially when it wasn’t our fault.

“Me or Philip has to stay in the flat all the time, we can’t go out at the same time because we’re worried we’ll be robbed.

“I have a 17-year-old daughter who comes to stay with me at the weekends and she doesn’t feel safe here.

“It’s taking the Housing Executive far too long to get this sorted properly.”

Mount Vernon flats are set to be demolished by 2026.

A spokesperson for the Housing Executive said: “The door and lock at this property are secure and in working order.

“However, there is damage to the door and frame these will need to be replaced. These have been ordered the door and frame and will bit fitted once they are delivered.

“This building is serviced by 24-hour concierge and is covered on all floors by CCTV and is therefore secure.”

Mount Vernon flats

Chantelle says she’s made a complaint to the Police Ombudsman about the police action but the PSNI do not accept they went to the wrong address.

However, they accept no offences were detected and nobody was arrested.

A police spokesperson told the Sunday World: “Police entered a property in the Mount Vernon Road area of north Belfast at around 12.15am on Friday 9th September following a report due to a concern for safety. No offences were detected.”

Earlier this year Chantelle Collins was a witness in a shocking hammer attack court case which saw a man jailed for just over three years.

She was attacked by hammer-wielding thug Vincent Doran who had just launched a brutal attack on a man in Belfast city centre restaurant in broad daylight in July last year.

Doran was sentenced to 41 months at Maghaberry Prison after he walked into a Belfast eatery with a hammer hidden in a Lidl shopping bag.

Doran, from the Springfield Road in the west of the city, had admitted offences of affray, possessing a hammer as a weapon with intent to cause GBH, criminal damage and assaulting police on July 7 last year.

The 33-year-old smacked one man twice in the forehead with the claw part of the hammer, sending spurts of blood flying across the Yangtze Chinese restaurant and over shocked customers enjoying their meal.

He then chased the second man into the Donegall Place restaurant’s kitchen before attacking him with the hammer too.

Doran also assaulted police officers and spat on them during his arrest.

He also assaulted Chantelle after slamming her into the ground as he made his way out from the scene, leaving shoppers terrified.

“I didn’t know who Vincent Doran was, I’d never met him before until that day,” she told us.

“He knocked me over when he pushed past me but luckily I wasn’t badly hurt,” says Chantelle.

“It was really scary and there were loads of kids in the restaurant too so it must have been terrible for them to see that.”


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