BOSSES at a water firm have admitted a couple’s home was flooded for the sixth time in five weeks due to their contractors' inaction.

Butcher Nikki Hinds and his wife, Karon, said they were devastated to see sewage pouring into their newly-restored home in Castlegate, Malton, North Yorkshire, on December 30, after pumps stopping sewage from flooding into the property failed.

Mr Hinds said their home had been restored by their landlord after floods in early December, which saw them calling North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service six times for help, after having also suffered deluges in November and in September.

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Mr Hinds, who suffers from Crohn’s Disease, said: “Christmas was ruined for us. The pumping equipment stopped working which caused another flood in our home and we had to call out the fire brigade again.”

His wife said: “The drainage system just can’t cope. We have had two settees covered in sewage, it’s been up to my waist.

"It was rather wet and not very festive. We completely rely on the pump and if it's not refuelled then we're in sewage again."

The Northern Echo: In the hallway

Yorkshire Water initially claimed thieves had stolen fuel from pumps that was stopping sewage from flooding into the property.

North Yorkshire Police launched an investigation into reports from residents that up to 2,000 litres of diesel had been taken by thieves on December 30.

Patrols were stepped up in the area and detectives checked hours of CCTV footage before concluding no theft had occurred.

However, after police closed the investigation, a Yorkshire Water spokesman admitted the pumps’ failure had been caused by an oversight by their contractors.

He said: "Contrary to our earlier belief that fuel had been stolen from our generator, we can now confirm that the generator was not refuelled.

"On this occasion we did not meet our high standards of operational performance."

The Northern Echo: SPEAKING OUT: Nikki and Karon Hinds

He said both pumps were now working and apologised to the Hinds, adding the firm was treating their situation seriously.

Elsewhere, the River Ouse in central York, which has flooded several times in the past few weeks, has burst its banks again and on Wednesday (January 2) currently more than 13ft (4m) above its average summer level.