'I've slept in my bath tub for 4 years' - Gloucester woman Emma Gardiner
VULNERABLE Emma Gardiner has slept in her bathtub for four years after being attacked in her bedroom.
The 31-year-old suffers panic attacks if she enters the room at her Westgate Street bedsit following the attack.
She has instead taken to sleeping in her bath with a memory foam mattress, but is desperate to be rehoused.
Miss Gardiner, a former manager at Costa in Gloucester Quays, said: "This has gone on for four years and I just can't keep carrying on like this."
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She has even tried sleeping in a tent and sometimes stretches out on her kitchen floor in a bid to get to sleep. Her out-of-bounds bedroom doubles up as her lounge.
She said: "I just can't sleep in the bedroom any more. It means I can only use my bathroom or kitchen. I really need to get out of here."
Miss Gardiner added that her problems started four years ago when she was knocked to the floor in an assault which left her with long-term injuries including inflammation of the brain, a slipped disc and a trapped nerve in her leg. She now takes some 72 tablets per day and uses a mobility scooter.
She said: "My life was going really well until that night, but it has ruined everything. I can't see any light at the end of the tunnel.
"Sleeping in the bath is terrible. Sometimes I have woken up in the night wet. I have to fold up the memory foam a couple of times to try and make it comfortable.
"Other nights I lay down on the kitchen floor so I can stretch out a bit."
A spokeswoman for Gloucester City Homes said: "We are sorry about the problems Miss Gardiner has been experiencing and our teams have been fully supporting her for some time with a range of tenancy issues, as well as her wish to move to alternative accommodation.
"A number of exchange options to move to another home have been suggested to her, but she has not pursued them.
"We understand she currently wishes to move outside of the city and is bidding for homes elsewhere. We will arrange a further visit to discuss any current issues with her."