Vandals target vacant Housing Executive house in Londonderry

A Derry family with specific housing needs for a disabled relative have been told renovations to their home will be delayed after vandals targeted a property they were due to move into.

The house in Abbots Walk was to be used as a temporary home for the family.

Extensive damage was caused in the property, which is now uninhabitable after the weekend attack.

The Housing Executive is now trying to find suitable alternative accommodation.

Area manager, Eddie Doherty, said: "The radiators have been removed, copper pipes have been removed, the fireplace has been removed, the boiler externally has been removed from the central heating systems," he said.

"There's been damage to the fabric of the property also."

The upstairs of the house was also targeted.

"Floor boards have been lifted, electrical cabling and wiring has been removed and cut, radiators removed and plaster work damaged," he said.

The thieves struck in the early hours of Sunday morning.

"Obviously they were here for at least a couple of hours because of the extent of the damage that has been done," said Mr Doherty.

"The property has been vacant for a number of weeks.

"We were holding it to move another family into it.

"The reason we were moving another family into this property is that we were going to carry out extensive works at their own property.

"Works of a disabled nature which necessitated them moving out of the house, fairly major work."

Mr Doherty estimated it would take between six to eight weeks to restore the property.

"It is very, very unfortunate for the family involved, but what can we do, it is just something we have to deal with as quickly as possible," he added.