Burnley dad’s phone threats to Calico after boiler broke

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An angry dad rang a housing association making threats after his boiler broke down on a cold day, a court was told.

Ranting Michael Fegan (39) told housing company Calico he would take the house doors off and start a bonfire if they did not send an engineer. But Fegan ended up getting a visit from the police instead, after he got abusive with the call centre operator. Burnley magistrates heard how the defendant, an arthritic who suffers from anxiety, had six children in the house. His toddler was crying and the whole family was miserable as they had no heating or hot water.

The defendant, of Sunningdale Gardens, Burnley, admitted threatening to damage or destroy property on February 18th. Fegan, who lives on benefits, was given a 12-month conditional discharge and must pay £85 costs. The bench told him that although the situation must have been frustrating, he shouldn’t have let it boil over.

Prosecutor Parveen Akhtar said Fegan rang Calico and demanded an engineer be sent to fix the boiler before 10 a.m. The association told him an engineer would not be able to call before that time and he became abusive, said he would remove the boiler and make his own fire to heat himself up. He was arrested, accepted making threats, but said he had had no intention of causing any damage.

Mark Williams (defending) said the whole purpose of the threats was to get the boiler fixed. He had had problems with the boiler and it had broken down the previous week. Fegan said he had been trying to get Calico to sort out damp in one of his rooms for the past seven years.

He rang for an engineer early in the morning, but was told one would not be available until later.

The solicitor said: “He wasn’t best pleased with that and lost his temper. He got rather excitable. He has arthritis and is on a lot of medication. In the cold it gets worse, so without heating he was in a lot of pain.”