A COUPLE experienced a real life nightmare before Christmas after a vicious storm tore the roof off of their flat leaving them homeless.

David Briggs, 24, and his wife Charlotte, 26, have still not been able to return home after high winds ripped tiles and felt from the roof of their block of flats in Bridgland Road, Purfleet shortly before 4pm on Monday, December 23.

The couple’s top-floor flat ended up drenched, with a number of treasured possessions lost in the flood, including their precious wedding photographs.

Repairs are estimated to cost tens of thousands of pounds.

David and Charlotte have been staying with David’s parents in Hornchurch.

He said: “Christmas was ruined for everyone.

“We had friends who were supposed to be coming down from Cumbria to stay with us but we had to cancel on them.

“It is a nightmare as we just wanted to have a nice restful Christmas at home with friends.”

The couple’s cat and chinchilla have also moved out with them after property management company OM could only find room for them at a Premier Inn, but wouldn’t let their animals stay.

Fire crews isolated the electrics and salvaged what was left from the properties on last Monday.

Another couple were also left homeless, and had to spend the holiday season in a hotel in the borough.

A roofer was due to visit the couple’s on Friday, January 3.