Man’s £780 bill after police knock down his door

PUBLISHED: 08:00 07 May 2012

Michael Morris by his newly-replaced door.

Michael Morris by his newly-replaced door.


A SEVERELY ill man has been left with a bill for £780 after he awoke in the middle of the night to find police officers who had broken down his door standing over his bed.

Michael Morris suffers from a rare respiratory illness and, after being discharged from hospital earlier this year, had arranged to have daily telephone check-ups from nurses at 5pm.

But the day after he was discharged nurses called him unexpectedly at 11.50pm.

As he was asleep, he did not answer - and nursing staff became worried about his welfare. Two nurses and two police officers then went to his home in Cresswell Close in Worle. They knocked down the door shortly after midnight on February 19 to gain entry, surprising the 53-year-old in his bed.

He said: “I just woke up to find two police officers and two nurses hovering over me. I was very surprised to say the least.

“I have no idea why they called. It was almost midnight, I had only come out of hospital the day before and was absolutely knackered and so, of course, I wouldn’t hear the phone at that time.”

And with Mr Morris unable to work due to the severity of his illness, he had to take out a loan to help him pay for the repair work.

He added: “It has just left me really cross. The worst thing about this disease is that I can’t work, so it has made it really hard to pay for it.”

Mr Morris, who had been treated for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Weston General Hospital for a week before the incident, said replacing the door had cost him £780.

He added: “The stress and anxiety this has caused me has really been the worst possible thing for my health.”

Weston Town Council representative Tony Probert, who has been trying to get compensation for Mr Morris, said: “Common-sense should have prevailed at the time and in no way is Mr Morris responsible for the actions taken by the nurses and the police.”

A spokesman for NHS North Somerset said the ward where Mr Morris had been treated had insisted he needed to be checked on.

He said: “In these sort of circumstances, where the primary aim of all healthcare professionals is the health and welfare of the patient, unfortunately we cannot be held responsible for the repair costs.”

A police spokesman said: “If occupants have financial hardship and cannot recover their costs any other way they can contact Avon and Somerset Constabulary which will consider their situation and whether any additional help can be offered to assist in the repair.”

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