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‘I’m sorry’ - ex-rough sleeper apologises to neighbours after police raid flat for third time

PUBLISHED: 06:01 21 December 2018 | UPDATED: 14:48 21 December 2018

James Meaney and his partner Wendy Leggett outside their flat. Photo: Archant

James Meaney and his partner Wendy Leggett outside their flat. Photo: Archant

Archant

A former rough sleeper whose flat has been raided multiple times in three months has apologised to his neighbours.

Offices executed a warrant at the Watson Grove property on Saturday, December 1, following a tip-off from the public and arrested two people. Photo: Norfolk policeOffices executed a warrant at the Watson Grove property on Saturday, December 1, following a tip-off from the public and arrested two people. Photo: Norfolk police

Recovering heroin addict James Meaney said he was sorry after police raided his Watson Grove flat on Tuesday.

It is the second time this month officers have searched the property and the third since October.

But Mr Meaney and his partner Wendy Leggett say they now want the opportunity to prove themselves and make amends with their neighbours.

They claim their problems have stemmed from allowing acquaintances - who would otherwise be sleeping rough - to stay at their property.

James Meaney and his partner Wendy Leggett outside their flat. Photo: ArchantJames Meaney and his partner Wendy Leggett outside their flat. Photo: Archant

But they have vowed never to let it happen again.

Mr Meaney, 46, said: “I can understand how people feel and I am really sorry for what has happened. But at least give us a chance to prove ourselves.

“It’s a simple fact that we have been trying to be nice. We have given people food or let them stay round, because we know what it is like to be on the streets.”

The former addict said part of the problem was linked to the circles he previously mixed with while homeless.

Originally from London, Mr Meaney came to Norwich three years ago and was sleeping rough.

After a year on the streets he was given hostel accommodation, before moving to his flat in August 2018.

It was while he was homeless that he met his 45-year-old fiance, Miss Leggett. She currently lives at a hostel in Norwich.

Mr Meaney’s flat was first raided by police in October.

Officers seized 400 wraps of suspected Class A drugs, and three people - including Mr Meaney - were charged with possession with intent to supply.

But he claims his involvement was only limited to allowing the two men to sleep at his flat.

Police have since raided the property twice in December, seizing multiple mobile phones, a “small amount” of crack cocaine and several bikes, suspected to be stolen.

No further action was taken against Mr Meaney or Miss Leggett in relation to the last two raids.

The disturbance in the flats has however led to complaints from neighbours.

One man who lives nearby said: “It is a nightmare, you hear people coming in at all hours.”

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