Life gets worse for former Mastermind atom scientist

Former nuclear scientist Martin Cresdee in his Abingdon home. Picture: OX65127 David Fleming

Buy this photo Former nuclear scientist Martin Cresdee in his Abingdon home. Picture: OX65127 David Fleming

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Abingdon and Wantage, South Oxford and Kennington. Call me on 01865 425431

A FORMER nuclear physicist and Mastermind contestant says people who were trying to help him out of poverty have hit a brick wall.

Martin Cresdee was discovered last year after living in squalor for five years with a mental disorder.

His plight attracted the attention of the managing director of London’s International Resolution Centre, Oxfordshire resident Damian Hickman.

Mr Hickman took Mr Cresdee to visit a doctor, put £30 on his electricity key so he had electricity for the first time in five years, and tried to get him assistance from a welfare fund for former Culham employees.

But now Mr Cresdee, 60, of Hobbs Close, Abingdon, says things are worse than ever.

He told the Oxford Mail he had not seen Mr Hickman since before Christmas, and said: “I can understand, I expect it was costing them money.

“I am the problem.”

He said he had only used electricity once, to boil his kettle for a pot noodle.

Mr Cresdee also said his brother Neville, who lived in Newcastle, had died over Christmas, aged 66.

He said his feet now hurt so much he cannot walk into town, and no longer leaves the house.

He said: “It would take me ages to walk into town, and I haven’t got any money anyway.”

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Mr Cresdee has lived alone since his wife went into care five years ago, and hasn’t had the money to heat his house or pay for electricity. He has not had hot water to take a bath in all that time.

He was diagnosed with a mal-adjustment disorder which he says makes it progressively more difficult to deal with problems when things go wrong.

After getting a physics degree from Imperial College London, he worked for the Atomic Energy Agency (AEA) at Culham for 20 years.

But in 1992 he lost his job after an argument with his boss and walked out.

He was later told by a doctor that he had a maladjustment disorder.

Mr Cresdee’s wife died in April last year, aged 71.

One of Mr Cresdee’s neighbours, who did not want to be named, said: “Mr Cresdee is in serious need of help, and he has not been able to get this via the normal agencies.

“Worried neighbours have asked social services to intervene as well as the mental health people but no one wants to help this guy who was clearly a genius but has been further reduced to degradation and left to his own devices.”

Elizabeth Mansfield, chairwoman of the Harwell, Chilton and Culham Welfare Fund (HCCWF) said Mr Cresdee was eligible to apply for financial assistance from her organisation as well as The Nuclear Industry Benevolent Fund (TNIBF).

She said: “The HCCWF has received an application from Mr Cresdee, but the details provided so far are insufficient for trustees to make a properly informed decision as to how best to improve Mr Cresdee’s situation in the most constructive way.

“We are very grateful for the intervention of Mr Hickman and the assistance he has provided both directly to Mr Cresdee and for facilitating the application to the HCCWF. We will continue to work through him, with the objective of identifying the most effective way we can help Mr Cresdee to improve the quality of his life.”

Mr Hickman said he was still working to try to help Mr Cresdee access the welfare fund.

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