Sheffield woman left in ‘agony’ after rats in infested kitchen eat her painkillers

A Sheffield woman recovering from surgery is living in agony after rats in her infested kitchen ate her painkillers.

Monday, 26th July 2021, 7:02 am

Penny Hutchinson, aged 54, said the pest infestation in her home started 14 years ago - five years after she moved into the house in Manor but it has worsened over recent months.

She said repeated complaints have been made to her housing provider over the years but the situation has still not been resolved.

Mrs Hutchinson, who works as a cleaner, said: “I’ve lived in this house for 19 years and it's been 14 years since I've been having a rat infestation in certain cupboards.

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Rat droppings can be seen in Penny's cupboards

“The rats eat my food and I've had enough of it. I've recently had an operation to get my finger amputated and I've been living in agony because the rats have been eating my tablets.

“I phoned the housing association in December and they came to inspect the kitchen a month after that. But this needs investigating because I’m a clean person and the house is spotless. I've got no pets or anything.”

She said her housing association told her replacement cupboard backs would be provided, where the rats were getting through when an inspection was carried out.

“But I also think they should be replacing the bases where the rats have lived...I'm not after a new kitchen,” she said.

Rat droppings in Penny's kitchen cupboards

“All I can do now is put rat poison down but that also doesn't seem to work. We've got droppings everywhere, I'm traumatised.”

She said her doctor would not prescribe her any more medication despite her being in short supply due to the rats eating her medication.

“This is understandable, given that who would believe the story of rats eating them,” she said.

“I’ve not been able to buy any food for the cupboards since April, which is hard for me.

Remains of Penny's medication after rats ate it

Angela Stuttard, Head of Property Care for Together Housing, said: “ We have attended the property to investigate and determine the correct course of action. We have booked a follow up appointment to carry out work in the kitchen.

“Hopefully this will solve the problem. We will continue to liaise with the resident to ensure a positive outcome as we do understand how distressing pest issues can be.”

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