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Worldlife
08-05-2006, 13:34 PM
From Environmental Health News -5th May 2006


Court-dodging landlord guilty of illegal eviction

East end bedsit landlord Heinrik Sorenson has been found guilty of illegally evicting a mother with two young children from a flat in Woodgrange Rd, Forest Gate.

But in a case tried at Snaresbrook Crown Court, the jury failed to agree the defendant had made threatening phone calls. The case had been referred to Newham's legal team for prosecution by former Newham EHO Bill Page.

The court largely accepted the tenant's account - that Mr Sorenson had arrived with his partner Marianne, a van. and another male. When he asked the tenant to pack, she asked him for a court order. Instead he called the police, showing an officer a purported 'notice to quit' claiming he had given it to his tenant some months earlier. The tenant said she had never before seen the document. The court found that Mr Sorenson had turned up with the intention of removing her.

The court also found that lack of experience led the police officer to believe Mr Sorenson, agreeing it would be safest for the tenant to move out that day because of an alleged fire risk. When the tenant said she did not want to leave, she was threatened with arrest. The judge ruled that Mr Sorenson had exaggerated the fire risks to get the tenant out. He also moved out the furniture once the police had left.

Prosecution cost mounted during the case, largely due to the defendant's failure to turn up to magistrates court hearings. Mr Sorenson had to be arrested to attend court. The court awarded a fine of £1,000 for unlawful eviction and £4,000 in costs.

This case marked Mr Page's second successful prosecution for harassment while at Newham. In the earlier case, a landlord was given a two-year suspended prison sentence

Energise
09-05-2006, 11:01 AM
No damages to the tenant?