UK | LETTER TO CONSTANT BAILIFFS re UNLAWFUL EVICTION
further to our several telephone conversations, I am writing to make my position clear.
1. I entered the site at 52 Nine Elms Lane on or about the 17th November 2010 through the gate which was not locked. I had been watching the site for more than a week previously as it appeared to be abandoned, and there was no lock on the gate. During that time there were no vehicle or pedestrian tracks in or out of the gate, and weeds were growing undisturbed across the entrance. The office block was also open.
2. I had been resident on the site, AS A SINGLE OCCUPANT IN PLAIN VIEW OF WORKERS ON THE SITE NEXT DOOR, without any communication whatsoever from anyone claiming to be an owner or lease-holder, for the period from 17th Nov until 21st Dec 2010, when I left the site secured to celebrate the Winter Solstice with friends in East London.
3. On my return, I found that WITHOUT WARNING OR REQUEST TO LEAVE, my lock had been removed and replaced with a much stronger one. Also, my personal property had been thrown out of the first floor of the office block into approx two inches of mud, water, and glass from the office windows which had been smashed. I have photographs. My computers had been placed inside one of my vans, and covered with soaking wet, muddy, clothes and bedding with accompanying broken glass from the broken windows. My tools, and the batteries for my vehicles, which I had left inside the building were not nowhere to be seen. Notices had been posted all over the gates, in public view, and on my vehicles, stating that if all my property was not removed immediately it would be towed away.
4. I called Constant & Co and pointed out that the gates having been locked, and my batteries and tools apparently missing, it was impossible to comply with the notices. An appointment was made that Constant & Co would attend the site on the 29th Dec. I attended, but Constant & Co did not show. I called Constant & Co, and a further appointment was made for the next day. I had been told by yourself that I would not be allowed into the building to verify that all my possessions were removed.
5. On the 30th I met two men, presumably from Constant & Co, who let me into the office building and I retrieved the vehicle batteries and some of my tools. I was still not certain that my other tools were not on the site among the piles of wet muddy clothing and bedding etc. The two men offered me until the 14th Jan to get ready to move, and I accepted the offer. I asked how I was to gain entry to the site to make ready to leave, and was told: “That’s your problem”.
6. A couple of days later, I re-entered the site, On going through my possessions I realised that many of my tools were missing, totalling over £1000 in value to replace. I removed the large lock, and the sitex on the ground floor to regain access to electricity and water. I was again residing on the site, repairing what damage I could to my possessions, and washing my wet and muddy clothes. I reported the matter to the Police as Unlawful Entry and Theft, which amounts to Burglary.
7. On the 12th Jan 2011, I left the site to visit a friend in East London, and returned in the evening to find that the locks had again been removed and replaced with much stronger ones and that all my vehicles had been removed, leaving my welder (£300 value) and bicycle (£100) in the yard in plain view.
8. Subsequent to several phone conversations, and emails between my solicitors, Constant & Co, and Thames Water, and myself, Thames Water agreed to pay the tow away fees and storage if I removed my vehicles from where they had been taken (10 miles away), and if I agreed not to prosecute them.
9. I have stated that I cannot earn the money to buy insurance for my vehicles to drive them, as my tools have been stolen.
10. I assert that the initial entry to 52 Nine Elms Lane by Constant & Co was unlawful in Common Law & Equity, contrary to the Human Rights Act, contrary to the ECHR, contrary to Public Policy when dealing with Traveller site evictions, and contrary to the Bailiffs Code of Conduct.
11. I further assert that my removal of the locks and Sitex which were unlawfully fitted by Constant & Co does not amount to a “break in”, and was reasonable in the circumstances. Hence the second unlawful entry and removal of my vehicles by Constant & Co was an intentional Criminal Act, depriving me for the second time in two weeks of a place to live, and all my possessions, tools and equipment.
I hope this makes matters clear to you, and that you will immediately return all of my possessions in good condition, at your expense, to the site at 52 Nine Elms Lane, so that lawful negotiations can be entered upon forthwith.
N. J. Clare.