Scene of grisly murder up for rent

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The scene of the murder in August 2008

By Cara Sulieman

DESPERATE council tenants are queuing up to take over a home in Fife – despite it being the scene of a grisly murder.

Samuel Hooper, 64, was given a life sentence at the High Court in Glasgow last April for the brutal murder of his 66-year-old wife Isabella.

He stamped on her head and body and repeatedly kicked and punched her during the vicious attack in their home which left her with multiple rib fractures and brain damage.

He also smashed her with a table lamp and a table during the frenzied attack.

Now the council house in Overton Mains, Kirkcaldy, is to be re-let by the council after the courts legally evicted Mr Hooper last week.

Desperate

And councillors say desperate families are queuing up to move into the property despite its macabre past.

Local councillor Lawrence Brown said: “Despite the background of this house, it could have been rented out many, many times.

“We desperately need more affordable housing in Kirkcaldy, and the fact that people are asking about this property shows just how badly it is needed.”

And councillor Kay Carrington said that she’d had lots of people asking her what was happening to the house, which has lain empty since the murder in August 2008.

She said: “We were just told at the end of last week that it has been released back to the council, so hopefully it will soon have a new tenant.

“It has been lying empty for well over a year, and obviously it will need to be cleaned and decorated before it is re-let.”

Eviction order

Until someone is convicted, the lease still legally lies with them, so Fife Council were unable to do anything until the courts granted an eviction notice.

Kirstie McCue, housing investigation officer, said: “Although the tenant was on remand for some time, he was still legally the tenant, and we could not do anything until he had been convicted.

“At that point we had to apply to the court to have an eviction order and for the property to be released back into the council’s hands.”

The eviction notice was granted last Friday, and the council have now started the process to find a new tenant.

John Mills, senior housing manager, said: “We don’t like any of our properties lying empty at any time, but particularly at this time of year.

“It will be completely deep-cleaned then the top two or three tenants who are matched as suitable on our housing list will be invited to view the property and the full background will be explained to them before it is handed over.”

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