21st May 2013
A Birmingham loan shark has been sentenced to 30 months in prison.
Ping Wing Yau, of Dunnigan Road, Weoley Castle, pleaded guilty to illegal money lending, money laundering and blackmail, after previously denying the offences.
Yau operated in casino’s across the city, predominantly targeting people with gambling addictions and profiting illegally through what was described in court as an oppressive regime of repayments, penalties and interest.
More than £750,000 worth of unexplained de...
16th May 2013
Croydon Council has welcomed government plans to review the Riot Damages Act (RDA) - which could lead to victims being quickly and adequately compensated.
The announcement follows the council leader's lobbying of the prime minister, the Mayor of London and Prince Charles on behalf of residents and businesses in Croydon still awaiting insurance payments for the destruction caused during August 2011's riots.
The review will be led by former senior civil servant Neil Kinghan, who has asked the co...
16th May 2013
Westminster City Council has won a Supreme Court legal battle with an asylum seeker who claimed he was wrongly refused housing on the grounds of his mental health.
Five Supreme Court justices unanimously concluded that the council was not legally obliged to house the man due to his mental health needs, because under the National Assistance Act he was not in need of ‘care and attention'.
The asylum seeker, known as 'SL', arrived in the UK from Iran in 2006. He became homeless in 2009 and was ...
16th May 2013
MPs have criticised the government's failure to tackle the menace of dog attacks.
Though the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has just endorsed draft laws to extend dangerous dogs offences, it slammed the coalition for not bringing in wider measures, such as dog control notices, to tackle out-of-control animals.
“Our February Dog Control and Welfare report concluded that current laws had comprehensively failed to tackle irresponsible dog ownership," said the Committee's chai...
15th May 2013
A slum landlord has been hit with a £12,000 bill after renting out six flats without a licence - one of which was deemed unfit for human habitation.
Mark Graft, of Warwick Avenue, north London, had initially pleaded not guilty to six charges of failing to license private rented properties, all of which were on Colchester Avenue in Manor Park.
However, the 42-year-old changed his plea to guilty on the day of the trial. Graft failed to attend the hearings. A warrant for his arrest was issue...
14th May 2013
Stuart Hazell has today been jailed for life for the murder of 12-year-old Tia Sharp.
Hazell changed his plea midway through his Old Bailey trial to guilty yesterday. He was ordered to serve at least 38 years in prison before being considered for release.
The 37-year-old of The Lindens, New Addington admitted killing Tia between 2 and 3 August last year.
The court heard that Hazell sexually assaulted the schoolgirl before murdering her.
He wrapped her body in bin liners and hid her body in the...
9th May 2013
A social housing tenant is set to lose her Yeovil home after a series of drug abuse problems dating back to 1993.
Police and the courts have worked with landlord Yarlington to bring about the repossession order.
During the years of unrest at the property on Matthews Road, the tenant has been arrested nine times for drug-related offences.
The local community has been severely affected by the behaviour of the tenant and the people that have been attracted to her property.
Witnesses have been fearful come forward...
9th May 2013
One in ten renters in the private sector could be at risk from gas safety hazards, it has been claimed.
Of 4,300 private renters surveyed during research commissioned by homelessness charity Shelter and British Gas, 10% said that their landlord or letting agent had failed to ensure a gas safety check was carried out in their home over the last year.
Annual gas safety checks and certificates are required by law and are the legal responsibility of landlords.
Gas safety checks pick up a range of prob...
9th May 2013
The High Court is to consider 10 claims being brought against the government’s Bedroom Tax.
The claims, made by a range of people, will be heard together over three days starting next week.
Two of the tenants claim that the new rules discriminate against people who need larger accommodation for reasons relating to their disability.
Jacqueline Carmichael is challenging regulation B13 introduced into the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006, which will see a single person or a couple with no chi...
8th May 2013
Oldham Council has successfully prosecuted a landlord that left an 80-year-old woman to live in a substandard home.
Aspire Homelettings Ltd of Lyndhurst Road, Burnley refused to carry out repairs at the property on Cornhill Street, Oldham.
In desperation, the pensioner, who suffers from ill health, turned to the council’s environmental health team for help.
An enforcement officer discovered that the kitchen was in a very poor state of repair with dilapidated units and insufficient work s...