Clerkenwell woman ‘lucky to be alive’ after tree crashed through her kitchen window

PUBLISHED: 09:53 26 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:00 26 October 2018

Jacqueline Cuthbert standing by the window where an 80 foot tree smashed through. Picture: Polly Hancock

Jacqueline Cuthbert standing by the window where an 80 foot tree smashed through. Picture: Polly Hancock


A woman claims she’s “lucky to be alive” after an 80ft tree came crashing through her kitchen window in Clerkenwell.

Jacqueline Cuthbert could have been crushed by a falling tree. Picture: Polly HancockJacqueline Cuthbert could have been crushed by a falling tree. Picture: Polly Hancock

Jacqueline Cuthbert, of St John Street, says she spent 37 years pleading for the trees removal but nothing was done.

Stormy winds uprooted the tree, which stood in the council-run Spa Green Estate, and it came toppling through Jacqueline’s garden and into her house at about 11pm on January 2.

“The tree came through my kitchen and hallway window,” she said. “I usually hang my clothes up just by the window and had I been there then it would have killed me.

“I was half asleep when I heard the crash. It was like a giant squid breaking through my window. It was really scary”

“I was asking for that tree to be removed for 37 years.

“The tree wasn’t even in my garden – I kept saying it’s not stable and it’s going to fall.”

Jacqueline, 60, lives in a flat managed by Partners for Improvement in Islington (PfI).

She says it took the council five months to remove the tree. And it still hasn’t repaired her back yard, where steps were shattered from the trees impact and the garden walls are teetering on the point of collapse.

“I’ve been told [by council contractors] not to go out there because its so dangerous. They said I can’t even open my back door.

“I’m paying rent for a garden and patio I’m not allowed to touch, And they have just increased my rent too.”

She added: “There is a gang of about 30 children that keeps climbing onto my garden wall. It’s not safe. I fear it will fall and crush them.”

The Gazette understands the council has struggled to find a contractor to fix her garden. But the repair work was due to start this week.

An Islington Council spokesperson said: “We’re sorry that it has taken so long for Miss Cuthbert’s garden wall to be restored – Islington is a dense urban borough and we appreciate the importance of outdoor space for resident’s wellbeing.

“We have been working to make the site safe, complete engineering work and engage specialist contractors, and we hope to begin reconstruction work next week.

“We know that this is a frustrating time for Miss Cuthbert and we are doing everything we can to ensure that restoration of her garden wall is completed promptly.”

Latest Islington News Stories

Friday, December 7, 2018

Islington became the first council to pass a motion of no confidence in the government’s flagship social welfare reform last night.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Councillors met with pupils from a Finsbury primary school to celebrate a commitment to resettle 100 asylum-seeking children over the next 10 years.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Marks and Spencer’s bid to sell alcohol every day from 8am at a new Archway store has angered police and Islington Council due to the high number of street drinkers in the area – but the shop says it doesn’t stock the kind of booze that attracts alcoholics.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Highbury Leisure Centre is to be partially reopened on Monday – but the building that went up in flames is to be demolished and it’s unknown who will foot the bill for repairs.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Councillors will clash over the best way to influence a Brexit negotiations they have no direct control over at a town hall meeting tonight (Thu).

Thursday, December 6, 2018

A Canonbury street artist known as “the man behind the easel” is having his work exhibited – in the local pub.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Police are appealing for the public’s help to find a missing Islington mother.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

More than 50 volunteers scoured the roads of Islington to count rough sleepers and create a “snapshot” of the borough’s street homeless population on Friday.

Promoted Content

Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now