Lee Carson, 36, says he was punished for carrying weapons, robbery, stealing cars and fighting after falling in with the wrong crowd, but now insists he is a changed man. However, his dark criminal history prohibited him from moving into rented accommodation with his partner and child earlier this year.
Lee, a former binman, met his partner on a dating app and the couple quickly had a baby girl together, reports Wales Online. Social services, though, only gives Lee two 90-minute sessions a week at a council contact centre with his tot.
He also has an 18-year-old son from a previous relationship in London.
So, Lee is currently living underneath ‘the Big Arch’ former railway bridge near Pontypool, south Wales. The fleets of the Monmouthshire Railway once passed above the derelict Grade II-listed 19th century tunnel.
Lee, who admitted to having been “in and out of prison” up until he was 25, said: “I came to Wales to get away from my past.
“I’ve been done for carrying weapons, robbery, stealing cars, fighting – all after falling in with the wrong people.
“I just want to get back on my feet and be a good dad.
“This is my chance to be someone good.”
Strangers regularly drop by with food, drink and clothing but Lee is desperate to spend time with his baby.
He added: “We got together and had a daughter. It was amazing.
“But then social services got involved, found out about my past and decided they wanted to check me over – until which time I’ve been told I can’t stay with my two girls at their place.
“That little girl is my reason to keep fighting and being strong. She is my cub, my princess.
“Even being homeless here in Wales is better than the life I left behind.”
Lee moved from London to Torfaen, south Wales, when he got a job pouring concrete. He met his girlfriend, from the borough, online but struggled when the pandemic hit despite er pregnancy.
Due to the pandemic, he lost further roles as a binman and a steel fixer and had to go on Universal Credit.
The father was provided with temporarily accommodation in nearby Griffithstown at the start of 2021, but claimed that the property was infested with rats and covered in black mould, making it uninhabitable.
“I raised my concerns, told them I was going to take it higher, but I got evicted.
“I had 24 hours to get all my stuff out of there.”
Torfaen County Borough Council, led by the Labour Party, said Lee had been abusive and threatening to staff.
A spokesman said: “Mr Carson was provided with temporary accommodation by Torfaen Council in January.
“He was asked to leave after a number of incidents during which he was abusive and made threats to staff.
“The rats and mould were reported and both matters were dealt with promptly by the property owner.
“Mr Carson has been advised Torfaen Council will continue to work with him to find accommodation, and provide advice and support.”