Dad hurt in plunge through ceiling in Sheffield council house after concerns over water leaks

Michael Bickerdyke had just been heading to wake the children up at his family home in Sheffield.
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But the whole family was shocked when he took a couple of steps along the landing – and then plunged straight through the floor of their council home as the floorboard gave way.

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Now the family are asking Sheffield Council to move them to a different house because of their concerns over the safety of the home on Wharncliffe Avenue, in Wharncliffe Side, where they have been living for around 18 months.

Dad Michael Bickerdyke was hurt when he fell through ceiling in a Sheffield council house after concerns had been raised over water leaks.  Tanya Hearson and Michael Bickerdyke are pictured with baby Elena-Jade, under the hole in the ceilingDad Michael Bickerdyke was hurt when he fell through ceiling in a Sheffield council house after concerns had been raised over water leaks.  Tanya Hearson and Michael Bickerdyke are pictured with baby Elena-Jade, under the hole in the ceiling
Dad Michael Bickerdyke was hurt when he fell through ceiling in a Sheffield council house after concerns had been raised over water leaks.  Tanya Hearson and Michael Bickerdyke are pictured with baby Elena-Jade, under the hole in the ceiling
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Partner Tanya Hearson said she and Michael had concerns over the house for a while, and had complained about water leaks, which they blame for the accident, which she says left Michael with leg and back injuries.

They had been initially concerned about the leaks causing damage to floor coverings in the house, including in the kitchen.

She says there have been several water leaks since she and her partner Michael, and children Chanelle, 14, Cameron, 12, Corey, 10, Tori, six, Ford, two, and Elena-Jade, six months, moved in in January 2021.

But the most serious thing was on June 6, when Michael fell through the upstairs floor, through a section of board that she says had been damaged by a leak in the bathroom.

Dad Michael Bickerdike was hurt when he fell through ceiling in a Sheffield council house after concerns had been raised over water leaks. Partner Tanya Hearson is pictured with next to the boarded-up hole in the floorDad Michael Bickerdike was hurt when he fell through ceiling in a Sheffield council house after concerns had been raised over water leaks. Partner Tanya Hearson is pictured with next to the boarded-up hole in the floor
Dad Michael Bickerdike was hurt when he fell through ceiling in a Sheffield council house after concerns had been raised over water leaks. Partner Tanya Hearson is pictured with next to the boarded-up hole in the floor

She said: “There have been lots of leaks since we moved in.

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“But there was a bathroom leak that spread to the landing, which we think damaged the floorboards. When they fixed the toilet, they put that down as a follow-up job – but no one came out to fix it.

“Then on June 6, Michael was getting up to get the kids ready for school. He put his foot down and it went straight through. His whole leg went through. He had to hold onto the banister to stop himself going right through.

“I was angry because I’d reported it before. He hurt his back against the floorboard and sprained ligaments. He went to the doctor and was given pain killers.

“I was downstairs – I could see his leg through the hall. I was walking up the stairs and heard a massive bang and saw a leg come through. Michael was shaken up.

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“I don’t feel safe, and neither do the kids. I’m just glad that Michael was not carrying our baby at the time when it happened.”

Pictures show where a board has been placed over the whole upstairs. They also show the whole in the hall ceiling.

Sheffield Council says it has now sent someone to inspect the house and is making plans to arrange permanent repairs there.

Tom Smith, director of direct services at Sheffield Council, said: “We are sorry that the repairs that were needed didn’t take place and we have been out to talk with Mr. Bickerdyke to offer our support after what happened to him.

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“The landing area has been made safe. We inspected the property yesterday and we are prioritising the permanent repairs. The safety of the whole family at this property is an absolute priority.”