'No safe place to call home' - Luton family left homeless after terrifying burglary by machete-wielding thugs

A Luton family was left homeless and in desperate straits after a terrifying burglary in which they were threatened with a machete.

Monday, 1st March 2021, 5:57 pm
Updated Monday, 1st March 2021, 6:24 pm
The family fled their Luton home after an armed burglary
The family fled their Luton home after an armed burglary

The incident on December 30 ( see previous story here) saw a couple and their two young children forced to flee their rented home in Thresher Close after they were woken by burglars armed with a machete.

The father of the family said: "It was like a nightmare. We heard noises, it was dark and there were three masked men, one was waving the knife just a few inches from my face.

"My little boy was screaming, my wife was holding our baby and she was screaming.

"It is something I wouldn't wish on anyone."

After fleeing the property, the family spent almost two months in a hotel as they tried to find suitable accommodation in Luton

"We were rejected four times by rental agents," said the father.

"Our resources diminished staying in the hotel and we were not able to pass the financial checks.

"My wife cries most nights before we go to sleep."

The couple are from the Philippines, on a working visa with no recourse to public funds. Both work for the NHS - the husband is employed on the government's track-and-trace system and his wife is a registered nurse currently on maternity leave.

Their situation was desperate enough that they attempted to return to their old rental property last month. However, the water and electricity had since been cut off while the landlord makes alterations to the building.

The husband added: "We've been through the council so many times.

"Each time we are referred to the MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) team and they go through the same motions over and again before telling us we have no recourse to public funds.

"But we are in an emergency, with two small children.

"We pay our taxes, we pay for our health treatment upfront and son's school meals. We try to contribute to society like everyone else."

The Luton News has seen one message from social services, bluntly telling the father not to contact them anymore.

In the last two weeks, the family has been kindly taken in by a member of a local church, who has shared her home with them while they recover from their ordeal. The wife is also hoping to return to work next month once her maternity leave is over.

But they say the experience has forced them to consider whether they want to stay in Luton.

A Luton Borough Council spokesman said: "While we are unable to comment on individual cases, children and their families who are facing homelessness have an entitlement to assessment, advice and in some cases direct support.

"Our housing team will always work with them to ensure that their current accommodation meets minimum standards.

"If children are considered to be in need, we will seek to work in partnership with their families to ensure they are able to access the most effective support.

"In such cases information is exchanged between housing services and children’s services so that the case workers who liaise with families are up to date on our very latest information."