‘I know I’ve got a weight problem, but I shouldn’t have to wash outside’

Man issues plea for ‘a safe place to live’

Friday, 5th August — By Anna Lamche

Daniel Newman IMG_0317

Daniel Newman washes in a paddling pool outside as he is now unable to get into the bath inside his home

A 32-STONE man whose bedroom floor and stairwell collapsed beneath him says he is in desperate need of a “safe place to live”.

Daniel Newman lives with his brother in a two-storey house in Highbury Grove. The 39-year-old has recently taken to sleeping on his living room floor after his bedroom floor “gave way” under his weight, he said.

Mr Newman’s staircase also collapsed as he climbed it. “I’ve had two falls down the staircase because the stair collapsed,” he said. “My foot went through the staircase floor.”

While council workers gave the stairwell a temporary fix, Mr Newman now climbs between floors on his hands and knees, fearing it will give way again.

“I’m frightened. I’m scared out of my wits. I can’t take it anymore,” he said.

Mr Newman added he is now unable to use his bathroom to wash because he “can’t get into the bath”. In recent months he has taken to bathing in a paddling pool in his front garden.

“I shouldn’t have to do that, there’s no privacy,” he said. “I’ve been out there in the cold, washing in the cold. Many times I’ve broken down in tears and said, ‘I can’t go on anymore.’”

He said he is now paying rent for a property he can’t use. “I’m a human being and I should be entitled to use the facilities that I pay for in this house,” he said.

Mr Newman said he has not always been a “big person”, but things “went downhill” after the deaths of his mother, father and partner in quick succession. He said he turned to food as a coping mechanism.

“Everything piled up, I wasn’t doing so well,” he said. “I know I’ve got a weight problem and I do try to address that.”

He said he tries to manage his weight by “walking when I can but I can’t go far at the moment”, adding: “I try to cook for myself.”

On some days he finds it difficult to get out of the house, while at other times he visits friends on his estate or walks to the local café. But he said: “I haven’t got a life, to be honest with you. This is not a life for me. I’m not living, I’m just existing. And that to me is no life.”

Mr Newman said he believes his weight amounts to a “mobility issue” that should be treated like any other physical disability.

He hopes the council will rehouse him in a ground-floor property.

“All I’m asking for is a safe place to live,” he said.

An Islington Council spokesperson said: “We want everyone in Islington to have a home, which is secure, decent and genuinely affordable.

“We apologise for the distress caused to Mr Newman whilst we search for his new home. So far, we have been unable to find an appropriate option due to Mr Newman’s specific requirements and the lack of available housing. We hope to resolve this as soon as possible.”

Related Articles