Family penniless at Christmas after builder ‘disappears with £5,500’

Family are left penniless at Christmas after rogue builder ‘disappears with £5,500 and leaves home in a shocking state halfway through job’

  • Joanna Sterling, 47, said the house ‘isn’t going to feel like a home this Christmas’ 
  • She had to pay another builder to finish the work in Whitely Bay, North Tyneside
  • Mother-of-two has maxed out credit cards and had to borrow money from family 

A family face a penniless Christmas after they claim a builder disappeared with £5,500 plunging them into debt and leaving their home in a shocking state.

Joanna Sterling, 47, said she had to pay a second builder to complete her extension on her home in Whitely Bay, North Tyneside after the first one allegedly walked out without giving her the money back.

Now Joanna and her two young children, Kai, 11, and Lexi, nine, face a cash-strapped Christmas in ‘a house that doesn’t feel like a home’.

She said: ‘I’ve cried every day. I was numb every day for weeks after and I’m now on anti-depressants.

Joanna Sterling (pictured with her children Kai, 11, and Lexi, nine) faces a cash-strapped Christmas after a builder took £5,500 from her but didn’t finish work on her extension 

‘The house isn’t going to feel like a home this Christmas. The kids won’t be able to have as much as they normally have.  

‘My kids have seen me break my heart over this. They say “I wish the builder didn’t steal your money mumma”.’

After living in her house for nine years, Joanna decided to have a porch and downstairs bathroom extension fitted.

Although she knew that money would be tight, she pushed ahead with the plan to create the house of her dreams.


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In May, Joanna contacted a local builder who had been recommended by friends and gave him a £2,000 deposit to buy materials with the agreement the work would be done by late June.

In the beginning everything was going well and Joanna said they ‘got on well’ so the following month Joanna gave the builder £5,500 to buy materials, but they never arrived.

She then became increasingly concerned when he would not turn up to work and pushed the construction past the agreed due date.

Joanna said she paid a second builder to carry on the work, but she still cannot afford to have the whole job done

Joanna said: ‘We had a few arguments. I’m sorry but when it got to six weeks past the due date and I couldn’t see any evidence of work I said “you’re taking the mick and this is not good enough”.’

In August, Joanna claims the builder stopped turning up at the house and despite persistent calls and emails, he did not reimburse her the money to buy the materials.

Joanna said she was left living in a house with exposed pipes and bare walls.

She claims she had to pay a second builder to carry on the work, but she still cannot afford to have the whole job done.

‘I’m completely broke. I’ve had to max out my credit cards because I’ve had to buy everything again.

‘I’ve had to borrow £200 from someone and money from my family for my children this Christmas. The house isn’t going to feel like a home this Christmas.’ 

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Amal Clooney Carries Her Adorably Dressed Twins Around NYC

Amal Clooney‘s got her hands full … with her bundled-up twins, their teddy bears and even a go bag for her little girl.

George‘s wife was flying solo Thursday morn with the couple’s 1-and-a-half-year-old twins, Alexander and Ella, as the trio left the Four Seasons and headed out into the chilly streets of New York City.

It is a pretty rare sighting of their kids, and we gotta say … even toddler Clooneys look stylish wherever they go.

As we reported … George and Amal got dressed to the nines Wednesday night to attend the United Nations Gala in New York with his parents. Amal, who is a human rights lawyer, was one of the speakers.

But for now … it’s back to mommy daycare.

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Danish family discover their Hamburg Airbnb is a BROTHEL

Shocked family travel to Germany for mother’s 50th birthday treat – and discover their Airbnb is a BROTHEL ‘filled with whips, mirrors and naked women’

  • Anna Vigsø, 25, and her siblings gave mother a trip to Hamburg for her 50th 
  • When they arrived they discovered that their AirBnb was in a brothel
  • Room was decorated with sex toys and posters of naked women 

A Danish family who booked an AirBnb flat for a birthday weekend in Germany were shocked when they arrived to find that it was located in a brothel and decorated with sex toys and nude posters.

Anna Vigsø, 25, and her two siblings had planned the November trip to Hamburg to celebrate their mother’s 50th, but the family holiday was off to an awkward start.

Upon arrival, they were guided to their rented flat through a brothel by a prostitute, who led them into a bedroom stashed with whips and porn films.

AirBnbrothel: Anna Vigsø, 25, and her brother and sister thought they had booked a lovely AirBnb flat for their mother’s 50th birthday trip, but arrived to find it was above a brothel

‘When we stepped out of the taxi we were greeted by a prostitute, who said “Are you really going to stay here? Nice!” and then she showed us the door,’ Ms Vigsø, a musician who raps under her last name, told BT.dk.

‘We were taken up these stairs with purple wallpaper, mirrors everywhere and different VIP rooms.


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When we get into the flat there is a big bedroom where there is a huge cross and it’s lined up with whips and clamps, and filled with posters of naked women and lots of porn films. 

‘Everyone is in shock. What the f*** did we book? Then we were told to be a little bit careful when we go downstairs, out of consideration for the women who work there.’

Adult content: The bedroom was decorated with posters of naked women and was stashed with whips and porn films


Misleading advertisement: Ms Vigsø, a musician and rapper, said the whips, sex attire and porn films had been removed for the photos on the AirBnb advert

Seeing the funny side: The family took the mishap in their stride and stayed at the brothel flat for their weekend in Hamburg

However, the three siblings and their mother take the mishap in their stride and had a lovely time in Hamburg, Ms Vigsø told the newspaper.

Ms Vigsø, from Copenhagen, insists there was nothing in the Airbnb advert that indicated that the flat was above a brothel.

While she noticed the big black cross on the wall, she thought it was just a quirky interior design feature, and all the porn films and whips had been removed in the photos. 

After returning to Denmark, Ms Vigsø says she sent the owner of the flat a message saying that perhaps they ought to better advertise the ‘alternative’ location.

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Piers Morgan doubles down claims on ‘cut and runner’ Meghan Markle

‘None of her family are allowed near her… in case they damage the brand’: Piers Morgan doubles down on criticism of ‘cut and runner’ Meghan Markle as he invites duchess to pub

  • Piers Morgan revealed he and Meghan Markle drank together in London 
  • He said she later ‘ghosted’ him when she met ‘more important’ people
  • The GMB presenter said another actor friend was encouraged to ignore him

Piers Morgan has invited Meghan Markle to make-up with him over drinks – despite labelling her a ‘social climber’ for blanking him when she met Prince Harry.

The Good Morning Britain presenter repeated criticism of the Duchess of Sussex today, claiming she has ‘cut off’ people when she does not need them – or they could endanger her royal reputation.  

Yesterday, Piers revealed the pair had been friends but he was ‘ghosted’ by the Suits actress who married Prince Harry in May.

Today, he continued criticism.

He said: ‘She knew I was a journalist when I followed her on Twitter she messaged me saying ‘I’m a big fan’.

‘I feel the pattern with Meghan – whether the ex being chopped of the family or the father whose been chopped – or me on a much smaller level– she called me a friend on Twitter – came to my pub drank my drinks and then… whoosh… gone.

‘She’s a bit of a cut and runner. She’s trying to protect the bigger prize

‘She wants important people. Now she’s best friends with Michelle Obama and the Clooneys.

‘None of the family allowed near her they might damage the brand

‘It was all a bit odd.’

Mr Morgan also said a mutual friend of theirs was encouraged to break off his relationship with the journalist.

Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan Markle. Meghan has been accused of ‘ghosting’ friends after the marriage in May 

Suits cast member, Rick Hoffman – who played Louis Litt – was also friends with Piers but soon stopped talking to him.   

Mr Morgan said: ‘It wasn’t painful it was curious.  It left be bemused.

‘We’d been corresponding with another guy from suits for a year or so and it’s weird behaviour. 

‘Our mutual friend was also told to ghost me

‘He crawled out of the woodwork after the wedding 

Piers revealed he was ‘ghosted’ by Meghan Markle after they struck up a friendship but he invited her to make amends 


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‘He said ‘I love you pal’.

Piers also invited Meghan to make up with him at his local – the Scarsdale Tavern in Kensington – close to her new home in Kensington Palace.

He said when they met there before she was unknown and asked him for advice with her media career.  

He said: ‘Maybe she was on an inexorable charge to the top. I take people as I find them… Meghan is disappointing

‘When I knew her nobody knew who she was – she came to my pub and nobody knew who she was.

‘If she wants to come to my Christmas drinks, come on down.’

Writing for the Daily Mail Morgan said he packed Meghan off in a taxi the night she met Harry.

Morgan said Meghan, now the Duchess of Sussex, has only ignored people who are no longer useful to her

He wrote: ‘She spoke very candidly about her family – there were some private, sensitive things she told me I would never repeat because they were said in confidence – Donald Trump (she’s not a fan), and of course, Suits.

‘She asked me for advice on her career and the media, and if she could come on Good Morning Britain next time she was over, which I said I would arrange.

‘From the cab, Meghan sent me a series of texts thanking me and saying she was looking forward to meeting up again next time we were in the same city.

‘She even publicly tweeted about how nice it was to see her ‘friend’ – me – in London.

‘So at this point, I was indeed labouring under the massive misapprehension that we were friends.

‘I was wrong.

‘She met Prince Harry at the dinner that night, went on a solo date with him the next night, and I never heard from her again.

‘Not a word.

‘I’d been ghosted.’

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Three generations of the same family fall to their death from building

Three generations of the same family fall to their death from a 12-storey building in Russia as grandmother tries to stop mother jumping off roof with her daughter

  • Anna Protensko, 35, took her eight-year-old daughter to the top of her block
  • Elena, 55, rushed upstairs to stop her and grabbed hold of her granddaughter
  • But Anna jumped, taking her daughter’s hand and yanking her mother down too
  • Locals found them motionless in the snow and they died at the scene

Three family members have died after a woman tried to prevent her daughter from jumping off the top of a 12-storey building with her grandchild.

According to local media, Anna Protsenko, 35, took her eight-year-old daughter Vika to the top of an apartment block in the town of Glazov in the west-central Russian republic of Udmurtia with the intention of committing suicide.

However, 55-year-old Elena tried to stop her daughter from killing herself and her young child, and followed them to the rooftop.

Once there, Anna allegedly took her daughter’s hand and jumped. 

Anna Protsenko, 35, pictured here with her her eight-year-old daughter Vika; they lived in the town of Glazov in the west-central Russian republic of Udmurtia

The dead bodies can be seen blurred out on the left as emergency crews arrive to find the three generations of females dead in the snow


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Vika, eight, plunged to her death alongside her mother and grandmother who tried to hold onto her arm

As Elena was pulling at her granddaughter’s arm at the time, she was also taken over the edge, according to local media.

Their motionless bodies were found by local residents who called the emergency services.

Reports said that the victims died on the spot.

The police allegedly found a suicide note in Anna’s hand, although its contents have not yet been disclosed.

According to an unnamed source who knew the family, Anna could have been driven to suicide by the relatives of her common-law husband Aleksey.

Anna met Aleksey two years ago and they started living together in his flat along with his mother and sister.

One year later, Anna gave birth to their son. 

According to an unnamed source who knew the family, Anna (pictured here in a garden) could have been driven to suicide by the relatives of her common-law husband Aleksey

Her friends say the couple had a good relationship at first, but then things turned sour.

One of Anna’s friends said: ‘Soon after she gave birth, the relationship between her and Aleksey’s relatives grew tense.

‘They thought Anna was a bad mother and wanted Aleksey to break up with her.’

The investigation is ongoing.

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These very awkward family photos will have you cringing all the way

If you thought spending an uncomfortable Christmas lunch with your in-laws was bad, think again.

These families don't hold back when it comes to showing their love for the holidays.

Parents will stop at nothing to embarrass their kids, even if it means stripping down to just a nappy so you can match.

We've compiled a selection of the most cringe-worthy Christmas family portraits to make you feel lucky with the family you've got – even if you didn't choose them.

From nudity to dog humping to an embarrassing wet patch, Christmas couldn't get much worse than this lot.

Like father like son

Holy smokes!

Merry Crotchmas!

Bubble trouble

A very creepy Christmas

A Christmas miracle

Puppy love

Bah hump-bug!

Nude-tivity

A festive feline fondue by the fire

Santa's little helpers

The family tree

Under the mistletoe

Someone didn't get the memo

Yule log

Dashing through the snow

XXX-mas

Father Hit-mas

Getting on swimmingly

Feeling festive




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