Woman living 'in fear' two years after assault at flats

Victory Homes' offices in North Walsham. 

Victory Homes' offices in North Walsham. - Credit: Google StreetView

A north Norfolk woman still living in the same apartment block as her attacker has said she is being "ignored" by a housing association.

Michelle Lee Unsworth, 43, who lives in Mundesley, asked Victory Homes to move her to a new property after she was assaulted by her neighbour in June 2020.

Two years later, however, she is living in the same apartment.

She said: "Victory Homes are ignoring me. The don't realise the impact the incident had on me. They are dismissing it."

The neighbour pleaded guilty at Norwich Crown Court last year to causing actual bodily harm to her neighbour and also to biting a police officer on June 24, 2020.

Since the assault, Ms Unswroth has put in bids on six flats and houses in Cromer and Sheringham but Victory has rejected all of her requests.

"I'm living like a prisoner here. I live in fear," she said.

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Jay Furner, head of housing at Victory Homes, said: "We’re aware of Michelle’s situation, and we’ve been supporting her in trying to find a new home.

"Unfortunately, the alternative homes we have offered haven’t met Michelle’s requirements, and a recent mutual exchange sadly fell through.

"We understand this is a difficult time for Michelle, and we will continue to offer our support and help her to find something more suitable as soon as possible," Mr Furner added.

Ms Unsworth, who lives alone and has been a tenant at the flat for four years, said she suffers from PTSD as a result of the incident.

""It's left me frightened and vulnerable. Every time I hear a noise I'm flinching and jumping, I start shaking."

She said that her neighbour threw her down the concrete stairs before beating her up at the bottom of the steps, leaving her with injuries including bruising to her head and limbs, a black eye and hair pulled from her scalp.

She is being supported with counselling at Mind.

If she could move to a new property, she would be "able to feel free without feeling vulnerable", she said.

A spokesperson for North Norfolk District Council said: “We can confirm that Victory Homes is a partner of NNDC. However we cannot comment on individual cases.”