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Suicidal man Sean McLean says living in flat brother jumped from is a "nightmare"
Mr McLean put his fridge in front of the window from where his brother jumped so he does not have to look out
A SUICIDAL man whose brother threw himself to his death from their eighth floor flat says not being able to move out is a "nightmare".
Sean McLean’s 37-year-old brother, Lee Shopland, jumped from a window in their kitchen on May 19 last year.
Approaching the first anniversary since his death, Mr McLean says he cannot bear to live any longer in the same flat, which they shared together for six years.
The 29-year-old said: "Just being here is a constant reminder.
"I live with the curtains closed because I can’t look out of the windows.
"I’ve got my fridge freezer up against the window where he jumped from so I can’t look out and I have to use the back door to the block of flats as the front door is near where my brother landed.
"It’s been a nightmare."
Mr McLean sent a letter to his housing association, Orbit, last September requesting to move, explaining he was struggling to sleep, suffering with depression and taking medication.
However, Orbit said it "could not give any priority to residents in such cases" and instead referred him to Bexley Council for a medical assessment.
The council’s allocations service administers the transfer register on Orbit’s behalf, apart from urgent transfers, which falls to the housing association to access.
It wrote to Mr McLean two weeks later saying that while it sympathised with his situation, it was "unable to give (him) higher priority at this moment."
The trained care worker, who is on antidepressants, says living in the flat is ruining his life.
He said: "I can’t sleep and when I do, I dream that I’m falling and I wake up really quickly.
"I took an overdose before Christmas, but I called an ambulance after I had done it.
"I went to Darent Valley Hospital and saw a psychiatrist and I’ve now been referred to a mental health unit in Erith."
He added: "I have thoughts of doing what my brother did to myself."
A spokeswoman for Orbit South said: "While we cannot give details of individual cases, we strongly encourage Mr McLean to contact his neighbourhood officer so we can reassess his situation and by working with evidence from partner agencies, determine the best course of action."
A spokeswoman for Bexley Council said it was unaware of Mr McLean’s hospitalisation and current health issues.
She added: "We would be happy to reassess Mr McLean's transfer application."
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