Man loses toes to frostbite after bedroom tax forced him to live in a tent


Man loses toes to frostbite after bedroom tax forced him to live in a tent
Keith and Mitchell Keenan were evicted from their home after they failed to keep up with bedroom tax payments (Picture: Liverpool Echo)

A man has had all of his toes amputated after he became a victim of the bedroom tax and was forced to spend the entire winter in a tent.

Mitchell Keenan, 32, was rushed to hospital six weeks ago and diagnosed with frostbite, after his severely blackened toes were discovered by his family.

He was forced to live in the tent with dad Keith after they were unable to keep up with bedroom tax payments and were evicted from their four-bedroom home in Birch Green,Skelmersdale, Lancashire.

Keith, 62, was also diagnosed with dementia, malnourishment and scabies.

Dawn Doyle,54, Keith’s sister, attempted to find shelter for the pair.

‘It’s absolutely outrageous what has happened to my brother and nephew’, she told the Liverpool Echo.

Warning: graphic contentnnMitchell Keenan from Skelmersdale, West Lancashire, UK, had to have his toes amputated after suffering with frostbite. The family says he was living in a tent after being evicted from his council house due to the bedroom tax.
Mitchell Keenan’s toes were amputated after he spent the winter in a tent (Picture: Liverpool Echo)

‘They lived in their home for thirty years and got into difficulty last year.

‘They had their benefits sanctioned and things just spiralled out of control, they both have neurological conditions and disabilities and kept missing job interviews, so the problem got worse and worse.’

And after it proved impossible for Dawn to provide the pair with shelter in her own home, she was forced to buy a tent for her brother and nephew, while also providing them with parcels from local food banks.

‘I felt awful that I couldn’t take them in, but I’m a single parent, with my own disabilities and I just knew I couldn’t cope’, she added.

‘Social Services said they couldn’t come and assess them because they were in a tent – it was just farcical.

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‘When we saw Mitchell’s toes we were horrified, that this can happen to people in the 21st century is disgusting.’

Mitchell has now been provided with temporary accommodation by West Lancashire Borough Council, while his dad has been taken in by a housing association.

‘The bedroom tax is an awful thing,’ Dawn said.

‘It’s affecting people’s lives all over the country and needs to be repealed’.

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27 April 2015 | 7:13 pm – Source:


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