‘I’m the one who got the sentence’ – retired bricklayer whose house was smashed

Have your say

A PENSIONER today said he was lucky to be alive after a car ploughed into his home.

Retired bricklayer Bill Dugan, 84, was forced to moved into a bed and breakfast after Neil Bater took his girlfriend’s car and smashed into his garden wall in Newcastle Road, Monkwearmouth hitting a gas main.

Mr Dugan, who worked at Wearmouth Colliery, was not able to move back into his home of 45 years until two weeks ago.

Work is still going on to repair the front room of the semi-detached house, which was left partially demolished and without heating.

Mr Dugan said: “The insurance company moved me into a bed and breakfast in Seaburn for three months.

“I’m only back in because the heating’s on. I’m waiting for a man to come out and put blinds in and then I’ll get the carpets down.

“I’m the one who got the sentence.”

Mr Dugan, who was evacuated minutes after the crash, along with his neighbours, believes he is lucky to be alive.

“If it had happened during the day I would have been sitting watching the TV,” he said.

“There was lumps of concrete and wall on top of my settee.”

He added: “I just can’t believe it. They’ve banned him from driving for three years, but he was banned anyway.”