Barking and Dagenham LBC v Bakare; too little too late

Just a brief note on this. As yet no transcript. This is another example of a fairly robust antisocial behaviour decision being upheld on appeal and it reinforces the well established principle that an appellant who is essentially attacking the discretion of the Judge below will find no sympathy in the Court of Appeal.

The background was that a long standing secure tenant had lived in her flat with her three children. Her youngest son aged 19 had been involved in some offending including use and possession of cannabis and had some connection with firearms and ammunition found near the premises. B&D sought possession for both rent arrears and antisocial behaviour. On the first consideration, the court granted an ASBO against the younger son and adjourned the possession claim. Then when the matter came back on, the younger son had been involved in further offending and had breached the ASBO. However, just before the returned hearing, the Tenant had arranged for him to reside elsewhere and while she conceded that the grounds for possession were made out, she asserted that her son would continue to live elsewhere thereby ceasing the nuisance and sought a suspended order. The Judge appears to have had none of this, finding that the Tenant’s actions were too little too late and that he had no confidence that she could do anything to control her son’s escalating conduct. He duly made an outright possession order. She appealed on the basis that the Judge had failed to properly consider either the measures she had put in place to deal with the problems and her own personal circumstances.

The appeal was dismissed. There had been no error of law and the appeal was an attack on the exercise of discretion by the Judge. The Court of Appeal commented that while the judgment did not expressly state that the Judge had taken account of the measures put in place by the Tenant, it was clear from the judgment overall that he had  a very clear grasp of the case and it was material that he had adjourned the first hearing having impressed upon the Tenant how serious he found the antisocial behaviour to be. There were no grounds to interfere with the judgment.

This is a good example of the ever shortening judicial fuse on antisocial behaviour and may signal that advisers need to be giving much starker warnings much earlier to clients in this position.

Posted in ASB, Housing law - All, Possession, secure-tenancy and tagged , .

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