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Judge Blasts Southwark Council For Evicting Sudanese Tenant And Destroying All Of His Possessions

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/judge-blasts-southwark-council-for-evicting-sudanese-tenant-and-destroying-his-possessions-9796994.html

Housing officers conspired to unlawfully evict a Sudanese refugee from his council flat and destroy his possessions, including memory sticks holding thousands of hours of work, before then covering up their wrongdoing, a judge has ruled.

The victim, who was granted British citizenship after fleeing Sudan’s civil war in 1985, was made homeless for a year and forced to sleep on the streets after officials acting for Southwark Borough Council entered his home while he attended a court hearing in April last year over rent arrears of £18 per week.

All his possessions, including his passport, credit cards, furniture and computer equipment containing several years of research and personal material, were removed on the day of the eviction and destroyed in a waste disposal facility.

In a swingeing ruling, a High Court judge found that housing officers entered into a conspiracy to “harm” the man, known only as AA, by securing his eviction from his flat in Peckham, south London, and then conceal their actions from investigators.

Judge Anthony Thornton QC said: “The various officers conspired to evict AA by unlawful means, to seize and destroy his possessions by unlawful means and to cause him harm and loss by evicting him and dispossessing him of his possessions.”

In his own complaint, AA, who had sought £2.4m in damages, said he felt he had been “robbed of my dignity and pride” by the local authority.

Southwark, which is London’s largest social landlord with 40,000 properties, and which bills itself as providing a “great place” for its tenants to live, admitted that it had “got things very wrong” when dealing with AA.

But the local authority refused to say whether three officials singled out for particular criticism - income officer Christiana Okwara, her line manager Brian Davis, and resident officer Johanna Ashley - were still employed.

Incredible and the council won't even tell taxpayers if these individuals are still employed by them!

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"In a swingeing ruling, a High Court judge found that housing officers entered into a conspiracy to “harm” the man, known only as AA, by securing his eviction from his flat in Peckham"

Was it a lawful eviction or not?

All evictions harm people. That's the point. Removing someone from the property they refuse to pay rent on is going to 'harm' them.

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"In a swingeing ruling, a High Court judge found that housing officers entered into a conspiracy to “harm” the man, known only as AA, by securing his eviction from his flat in Peckham"

Was it a lawful eviction or not?

All evictions harm people. That's the point. Removing someone from the property they refuse to pay rent on is going to 'harm' them.

A good point, but a state sanctioned "correct" killing isnt murder either...fail to cross a T or tick the right box and lawful becomes unlawful.

You cant argue with a "correct" system.

but it appears, a penniless man can sue a system that is shown not to be so.

As you say, the end result is the same for the man at the time...misery.

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"In a swingeing ruling, a High Court judge found that housing officers entered into a conspiracy to “harm” the man, known only as AA, by securing his eviction from his flat in Peckham"

Was it a lawful eviction or not?

All evictions harm people. That's the point. Removing someone from the property they refuse to pay rent on is going to 'harm' them.

A good point, but a state sanctioned "correct" killing isnt murder either...fail to cross a T or tick the right box and lawful becomes unlawful.

You cant argue with a "correct" system.

but it appears, a penniless man can sue a system that is shown not to be so.

As you say, the end result is the same for the man at the time...misery.

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A good point, but a state sanctioned "correct" killing isnt murder either...fail to cross a T or tick the right box and lawful becomes unlawful.

You cant argue with a "correct" system.

but it appears, a penniless man can sue a system that is shown not to be so.

As you say, the end result is the same for the man at the time...misery.

An eviction process takes time and you get chance to speak in court to give a defence. If you have none then you should seek help in packing up your stuff and moving it before the property is returned to the landlord.

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An eviction process takes time and you get chance to speak in court to give a defence. If you have none then you should seek help in packing up your stuff and moving it before the property is returned to the landlord.

Indeed you should...And the "correct" procedure is required to start it all off. No matter how bad the result for the "victim", he has no appeal if it is "correct".

So if these criminals had followed the procedures and acheived the desired eviction, then the result is the same, the criminals are now not criminals, but the target is still in the gutter.

It is the abuse of "correct" procedures that lead to tyrannies. It is a point I occasionally bang on about and is central to the "if you are innocent, then you have nothing to fear" fallacy.

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It is the abuse of "correct" procedures that lead to tyrannies. It is a point I occasionally bang on about and is central to the "if you are innocent, then you have nothing to fear" fallacy.

But that's the point. The law is there for all to see.

Advice is available freely from various organisations.

If you do not understand the consequences of a court giving an eviction order then you are lost.

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But that's the point. The law is there for all to see.

Advice is available freely from various organisations.

If you do not understand the consequences of a court giving an eviction order then you are lost.

The case here is that there was a conspiracy to evict this chap.

If they had conspired "correctly" the result would have been a legal eviction and they would not be criminals.

They were lazy, or more likely just incompetant.

Procedure is what a criminal hides behind.

We see it in tick box care services...we see it in Public Sector Language corruption, meaning one thing to the "system" and conveying a different, acceptablem meaning to the public face.

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Procedures for securing evictions, including obtaining permission from a judge to start proceedings, were not followed and a requirement that all flat clearances take place in the presence of two council officers was ignored, the judgment said.

My bold..

Sounds like they put him on the street without the requisite court order.

Council housing officers should know better. If they had followed the correct procedure then the end result would have been the same.

Mind you claiming £2.4 Million is a bit strong.

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"The victim, who was granted British citizenship after fleeing Sudan’s civil war in 1985,"

Why? No countries in Africa to claim asylum in? I'd wager part refugee, part economic migrant. He might get 2.4Million quid as well in the end.

My view is two wrongs here - he shouldn't have been in the UK at all, and the council did wrong in not following procedure.

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I'd be curious to know how this made it to the high court? Did he get legal aid?

Also it says that the council has made an out of court settlement now but that must be after it was heard in court or there would not be a ruling. So how much was wasted on legal fees both leading up to the court case day and on barristers etc when it did actually go to court.

Only mentioning this as I have been involved with legal cases before and not found a lawyer willing to take it on / costly beyond my means.

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he shouldn't have been in the UK at all

That's a bit rich given that you are an immigrant yourself.

Following your line of thought maybe you shouldn't have been born at all given that your IQ must be below 50 to make such an ignorant statement... :rolleyes:

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That's a bit rich given that you are an immigrant yourself.

Following your line of thought maybe you shouldn't have been born at all given that your IQ must be below 50 to make such an ignorant statement... :rolleyes:

Ah, playing the man, but not the ball.

So explain to me why he should have been allowed in, and how it has benefited the citizens of this country?

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Hmm, surely you can be that thick ...

But here you go: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_relating_to_the_Status_of_Refugees

Thats perfectly fine.

By the treaty goes on to say:

"No Contracting State shall expel or return ('refouler') a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social or political opinion" (Article 33(1))."

Thus, by your logic, he should have been returned years ago too.

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"No Contracting State shall expel or return ('refouler') a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social or political opinion" (Article 33(1))."

Thus, by your logic, he should have been returned years ago too.

Your conclusion doesn't make any sense. Did you miss the 'No' at the beginning of the quoted sentence?

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Your conclusion doesn't make any sense. Did you miss the 'No' at the beginning of the quoted sentence?

Perfect sense, it means you can repatriate the refugee providing he is no longer in danger in his original state.

ie, send them back when the danger has passed.

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It would all to be do with how the chap arrived in the UK.

Did he board a ship in Sudan and disembark in the UK? If so it is perfectly reasonable he apply for asylum here as 'this would be the first safe haven' he arrived in from the place of danger.

If however he transited numerous other Countries before arriving here and claiming asylum then he is an economic migrant only.

Anyway with his compo he has a fair wedge to spend back into the UK economy so best leave him alone for a bit...... :rolleyes:

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"In a swingeing ruling, a High Court judge found that housing officers entered into a conspiracy to “harm” the man, known only as AA, by securing his eviction from his flat in Peckham"

Was it a lawful eviction or not?

All evictions harm people. That's the point. Removing someone from the property they refuse to pay rent on is going to 'harm' them.

I think this answers that

http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/legal/high-court-hands-out-damning-judgement-to-negligent-council/7006270.article

The eviction was unlawful as due process was not followed and the original possession order had expired at the point when Southwark applied for a warrant to evict AA.

There's much more detail here - it seem quite technical! - it looks like because the original possession order was granted more than 6 years ago they needed to apply for permission from a judge to get an eviction warrant - but they didn't do this and just wrote to the court instead for the warrant using the normal method -- I wonder why the court didn't notice the possession order was more than 6 years old when they issued the eviction warrant?

http://www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=20440:housing-officers-qconspired-to-evict-tenant-unlawfullyq-high-court-rules&catid=1:latest-stories

The judge explained that since the order had been suspended more than six years before the council wished to execute it, Southwark was not entitled to apply for a warrant, an administrative procedure that did not involve a judge, without first obtaining permission to apply from a judge.

“Having obtained the warrant, the defendant's housing officer failed to place the full facts of the case to the court at the hearing of the claimant's application for a further suspension,” he said.

“The conspiracy also involved the relevant defendant's housing officers short-circuiting the defendant's standard procedures that should have been followed before and during the execution of the warrant and the taking of a dispossessed tenant's possessions into storage for safe-keeping.”

Judge Thornton said these procedures were intended to ensure that any execution of a warrant for possession was fairly, safely and lawfully undertaken.

“The conspiracy continued as an attempted cover-up of the unlawful nature of the original conspiracy and of the unlawful consequences of that conspiracy that had led to the claimant's unlawful eviction, the destruction of the claimant's possessions and his homelessness without financial resources for a lengthy period,” the judge added.

He pointed out that it had been a requirement “for many years” that a landlord must apply to a judge for permission to apply for a warrant for possession if the original possession order had been made more than six years prior to the order even if the order had been suspended by a judge on terms that had not been complied with in the intervening period.

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So the huge compo was for the value of his stuff that was destroyed or his dignity?

"who had sought £2.4m in damages, said he felt he had been “robbed of my dignity and pride” by the local authority."

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So the huge compo was for the value of his stuff that was destroyed or his dignity?

"who had sought £2.4m in damages, said he felt he had been “robbed of my dignity and pride” by the local authority."

Obviously he needs 2.4M to pay the backlog in rent arrears, if there was an eviction order six years ago!

But no, I am being raaaaaacist to question why he was allowed in the country in the first place. Jesus f&cking wept.

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There's much more detail here - it seem quite technical!

OK, you've got what's evidently the nub of it there.

The real crime was neglecting to grease the legal profession's palm.

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