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Prestwich nightmare neighbour evicted

Tuesday, May 15th 2012 01:00

Following years of anti-social behaviour and disruption to neighbours, a resident on the Polefield Estate, Prestwich has been evicted.

Karla Walker, aged 32, lived on the estate with her three children. The family were first reported by neighbours in May 2009 to Six Town Housing’s ASB Team and the Police. Allegations of criminal damage towards a neighbour’s fence, climbing in and out of gardens, constantly kicking a football at residents' cars and into neighbouring gardens, throwing stones at fences and racial abuse were received. As a result of the complaints Ms Walker received a formal tenancy warning.

The problems became more persistent in early 2010, when, amid reports of loud music, swearing and shouting, Ms Walker allowed her children to climb on cars, throw stones and cause other nuisance. Despite further warnings being issued and continuous efforts of support from Education and Social Services and Six Town Housing’s ASB Team the nuisance continued.

On the strength of evidence obtained by the Six Town Housing’s ASB Team, the police and residents, Six Town Housing applied to the courts for possession of Ms Walker’s home in August 2010. The order was suspended for 18 months, meaning if similar offences occurred during that period, Ms Walker could be evicted from her home. Unfortunately, further allegations of noise nuisance were received in February, March and April 2011 and the matter was returned to court.

Between May 2011 and December 2011, residents attended three separate court hearings only to find the hearings adjourned in order to allow the Defendant to obtain a number of family reports and records.

During the course of a two-day trial in April 2012, Ms Walker admitted that since the suspended Possession Order was made, there had been 25 breaches from February 2011 to January 2012, in which her children had been allowed to cause nuisance, anti-social and criminal behaviour. Evidence provided by the Police indicated a further nine breaches in March and April 2012.

The Court stated that whilst Ms Walker had not stood by her children whilst the incidents had taken place, she had not put into place any rules or boundaries for her children. Ms Walker’s sons were described as being devoid of any sense of responsibility and that their behaviour had pushed them along the path towards prison.

As a result of the breaches of the court order Ms Walker’s application to stay or postpone execution of the warrant of possession was dismissed and Ms Walker was given until 2 May, 2012 to vacate the property. She failed to do so and was evicted on 3 May 2012.

Sharon McCambridge, Chief Executive at Six Town Housing, said: "Six Town Housing and our partners ensured the Walker family had all the necessary support to change, but unfortunately the disruption continued. Our priority is the quality of life of all our tenants and this is why use all methods at our disposal to combat anti-social behaviour. We will continue to take action as soon as we become aware of behaviour that causes distress or is disrupting people's lives."

Residents on the Polefield Estate have expressed their relief and gratitude for the hard work and resilience that the Anti Social Behaviour Team and other partners have shown;

Mr and Mrs Clarke of the Polefield Estate said "It’s such a relief for us and the neighbourhood. It’s very difficult to live with such disruptions around your own home and we really appreciate the persistent work of Six Town Housing and the Police to make sure this stopped. We can now hopefully live in peace!"

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