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Son ordered to quit council home where he found bodies of suicide pact parents

A GRIEVING son was threatened with homelessness by heartless council chiefs just days after his parents died in a suicide pact.

David and Patricia Barraclough took their own lives at their council home in Port Seton, East Lothian, in April this year.

David Barraclough at home. Photo: Gordon Bell.

Their 35-year-old son, David Jnr, who shared the home and discovered his parents’ bodies, received a letter a few days later ordering him to leave.

David attempted to fight the eviction order but is now facing homelessness after losing his appeal.

David, who was made redundant from his IT job the month before the tragedy, said: “I was still dealing with the shock of what had happened when they told me I had to leave. I’ve tried to explain to them but they won’t listen.

“I don’t know why they’re so determined to get me out of the house. It’s extraordinary how unreasonable and heartless their attitude is.

“It was devastating to find them and hard to accept that this was the outcome.”

He added: “The council have refused to engage with me on any level to reach a compromise. I have no chance of a private let while out of work.

“I’ve had to put the emotions and grieving process to one side. I’ve had to live like a robot to go through this process.”

David Snr, 55, and Patricia, 62, had been involved in a long-running dispute with local authorities regarding access to a grandchild.

David Jnr has since found out that his mother, who was a full-time carer for her dad who was epileptic, had lodged a complaint to the council about how social workers had dealt with them.

David, who has lived in the house since September 2014, believes the dispute and frustrations had started to affect their mental health.

He said: “I found my parents on April 14 and went to the Citizen’s Advice to explain the situation.

“They told me I’d need to succeed the tenancy so I submitted my application to East Lothian Council at the end of April and by May 5 they’d come back to say I didn’t have the legal right to live there.

“I’ve since appealed but the council are saying that my parents didn’t make them aware that I stayed there.”

He now says that they council are using this as evidence that he didn’t stay at the property despite him having mail from two years at the address and neighbours claiming that they could vouch for him.

A spokesperson for East Lothian Council said: “When a tenant dies in certain circumstances the tenancy can pass to a person who is qualified to succeed that tenancy.

“A request to succeed that tenancy can be refused if the applicant does not meet the qualifying criteria.

“The council is unable to comment publicly on the specifics of any individual’s circumstances or case.”

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