A MENTALLY ill man has gone on hunger strike as a protest against Chester & District Housing Trust for not re-housing him.
The 51-year-old Blacon man, who wishes to be known as Paul (not his real name), has consumed nothing apart from tap water since last Tuesday and is getting weaker by the day.
He wants to make a fresh start in a new home because of bad memories associated with his flat.
He used to share the place with his partner who died in tragic circumstances.
But he also says the neighbourhood is terrorised by gangs of teenagers causing him to stay indoors, making him a virtual prisoner.
Paul, who has been on the housing waiting list since 2003, said: 'Life is not worth living at the moment. If there was an easy way out, I would take it. If I had the guts to jump in front of a train I would.'
Paul, who is supported by a mental health worker because he suffers from depression, is prepared to keep up his hunger strike to get a new home.
'Gandhi did it for 80 days. I'm pretty weak,' said Paul, who says he doesn't get much sleep and is a chronic asthmatic who finds the stairs difficult. 'It depends how long I can last.'
Paul, who previously worked at the steelworks in Queensferry and Vauxhall Motors in Ellesmere Port, says his mental health problems would ease if his housing situation was sorted out.
'I just want a normal life,' said Paul. He claims youngsters ran amok in the area and three cars he had owned had been smashed up and he'd been burgled, making him feel vulnerable.
He said he had never been physically attacked but had been verbally abused.
Problems arose years ago when he and his then girlfriend were 'illegally evicted' by a private landlord.
They were put in emergency accommodation before being offered what he regarded as Hobson's choice - a dilapidated flat in Morton Road or the flat they chose in Harthill Road.
But Paul said life there was hell for him and his girlfriend and she suffered 'many knocks' in a short period of time before being found dead in tragic circumstances.