A Belfast mother-of-two has been forced to quit her home and move into a hostel after she was burgled for the sixth time in a year.
Stacey O’Neill, 26, from the Victoria Barracks area of the New Lodge, says constant crime has resulted in her mental health deteriorating to the extent she can no longer live in the property with her children, aged two and four.
“I have been in the house for four years and the constant break-ins caused me to have a breakdown,” said Stacey. “I was depressed and just couldn’t take being in the house any more. They took whatever they could get. They ransacked my children’s rooms and went through everything. ”
Stacey said her state of mind had been gradually improving of late, but the latest break-in has been a massive setback.
“It’s just become too much. The house is great but I can’t cope with living there, being afraid that someone is going to break in again. My kids are living with my uncle at the minute. I visit them as much as I can but I couldn’t stay any longer in that house.”
A PSNI spokesman said: “A 26-year-old man has been charged with burglary and is expected to appear before Belfast Magistrates Court on Wednesday, 11 March. As is normal procedure, all charges will be reviewed by the Public Prosecution Service.”
A spokeswoman for the Housing Executive said: “The Housing Executive can confirm that we have received a termination of tenancy for a Victoria Barracks address. The Housing Executive has secured the house pending re-let.”