COUNTY NEWS: Couple living in filth as toilet blocked for a week

A miserable couple who have been trying to get their toilet unblocked for a week said they feel like 'second class citizens'.

Cheryl Oliver, 54, and Graham Phillips, 46, from Walberton Court in Wallace Avenue, West Worthing, noticed their toilet was blocked on Thursday night, and tried to clear the obstruction themselves - but the water kept rising.

Cheryl Oliver and Graham Phillips were not happy about the blocked loo. Photo by Derek Martin Photography.

Cheryl Oliver and Graham Phillips were not happy about the blocked loo. Photo by Derek Martin Photography.

At 1pm on Friday, they logged a repair request with their letting agents King and Chasemore, which is responsible for repairing the toilets. But despite several phone calls to them and a plumber being called out yesterday morning, they are still living in filth.

Former accounts manager Cheryl said they were now having to put used toilet tissue in the bin, and feared they may have to decant some of the dirty toilet water down the sink to prevent it flooding.

She said it was 'embarrassing' and described how she had broken down in tears over it. She said: "It makes me feel dirty, like second class citizens.

"In this day and age I think it is just totally unacceptable to be left like this from a hygiene point of view and a health point of view.

"Why should it affect your life so much? I was out this morning and made sure I used the toilet then so I didn't fill up the toilet at home. You shouldn't have to think like that."

During their conversations with King and Chasemore, they were told they would be liable for the cost of unblocking the toilet if they had put sanitary towels, nappies or an excessive amount of toilet paper down the pan.

But Cheryl rebutted the claims, saying they did not have children and did not have those products in the flat.

She said: "We don't need to make excuses for something we are not responsible for. We are going through the correct channels to resolve it and we are being made to feel we have done wrong and are the bad guys.

"We have not deliberately blocked it."

After calling the letting agents several times, they finally sent a plumber yesterday morning. But Cheryl claimed they only stayed for five minutes before leaving.

Former NHS healthcare assistant Graham suffers from arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and angina. He said the bacteria growing in the toilet could affect his health: "It makes me feel really, really, angry. I felt like shouting when I was on the phone but I kept my peace because I didn't want to raise my blood pressure because of my heart problems. I've already had two cardiac arrests."

Today they waited in for plumbing service Drain Doctor to finally fix the blockage - but were told they may have to wait more than 24 hours for them to arrive.

Cheryl said they were moving out soon after living there for 14 months, and worried that if the toilet did overflow they would have to pay to replace the carpet in the bathroom.

A spokesman for the letting agents said: “We are taking this matter very seriously and a specialist contractor has been sent out to fix the problem".

The toilet was unblocked last night after this story was published.