Sunderland smoker who ruined his telly hits back at critics

Thomas Defty with the new television set he has bought after the old one was damaged by smoke.

Thomas Defty with the new television set he has bought after the old one was damaged by smoke.

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A couple who were told their smoking habit had caused their television to snuff it have hit back at critics.

Thomas Defty and Denise Head, who are both on benefits due to a number of health problems, came under fire over the Echo story when they complained Panasonic would not fix their £800 set through its guarantee, because the damage to the screen had been caused by nicotine.

She left us a bit of money and we wanted to get a good make, and we must have spent thousands with them over the years.

Thomas Defty

Thomas, 53, and his partner Denise Head, 60, said they had used money left to them by her mother Mary Arkley to buy a new TV.

Thomas, of Shakespeare Street, Seaham, said: “She left us a bit of money and we wanted to get a good make, and we must have spent thousands with them over the years.

“Now she hasn’t even got that to remember her by.”

The 42in HD LED TV, bought in March 2012, started to show shadows on its screen.

The couple say they were told the screen would be repaired, before the firm called back to say it would not be repaired, because it had been caused by environmental damage. Thomas and Denise both smoke about 20 a day, but they say they keep the window open and do not always smoke in their front room.

Thomas added: “If it was caused by smoke, then how come pubs and clubs, when you could smoke in them, their televisions never broke?”

Since the story was published, readers say they have experienced similar issues, while others slammed them for their habit. Reader David Woodward said: “If fags turn your fingers yellow and your lungs black, its probably a fairly safe assumption it isn’t going to do your TV any good.”