Here is my email. Your thoughts are welcome.
I have sent this to the Prime Minister, Sajid Javid, The Welsh First Minister, The Police commissioner and the headquarters of the Military Police.
Dear Prime Minister
Following on from the television programme 'The Kyle files' regarding rogue Landlords, aired on the 4th March 2019 on ITV. I would like to take this opportunity to bring to your attention the quote from the Home Office (not verbatim) that; - “Landlords who exploit vulnerable people will not be tolerated and the Home Office is determined to crack- down on rogue Landlords”
The reality is that is NOT what’s happening across the UK. Those are futile words and that is far from my experience, as well as that of thousands of others, who have to suffer at the hands of corrupt and criminal landlords. I fully intend to ensure that the Home Office and the landlord in my case are held to account and the above statement by the Home office is upheld. Failure to observe and enforce these strategies may result in the Home office being exposed. I am confident that the media will be interested to know that the Home office have failed to maintain their own promises and guidelines.
I have personally been in touch with a Production manager of the above television programme. I will have no hesitation in emailing him and potentially appearing on a future or similar television programmes. This will ensure that viewers are made aware that the reassurance provided by the Home office regards non-tolerance of rogue Landlords is no more than subterfuge.
I feel violated, exploited and abominably let down by the organizations that are supposed to protect me. Organisations that the Home office are responsible for. These organisations, public servants, will be expected to explicate the reasons for their failures and rectify them, to demonstrate that they are taking the action that they seem to suggest that they are.
I was a former tenant of a resident landlord for a period of approximately one year. A relatively short period after I moved into the property, the landlord began to behave in an inappropriate manner.
He 'propositioned' me on a couple of occasions and took offence when I made it apparent that I was not interested in any intimacy with him.
The landlord was egotistical and immoral; he seemed unable, or unwilling to perceive how his behaviour impacted on others.
I have evidence in the form of text messages where the landlord refers to me using the term "slut" and another where he states "I own you slut" [attached]
On another occasion, he stated that women are second class citizens and just useful for f*****g". [All of this was provided as evidence in the court proceedings and included in the court bundle I prepared]
I felt exploited and uncomfortable, so I made arrangements to move out of the property, however in the interim, the behaviour of the landlord became worse. This culminated in a message with the words "you are going to get raped you f******g slut".
I was extremely alarmed and in fear by this message and unsure how to manage the situation.
Shortly thereafter, in the kitchen, he threatened me physically by backing me towards a hot cooker and facing up to me in an intimidating manner. I was trapped, I felt frightened and at risk. I thought that he was going to assault me.
I was not injured physically, but I was very frightened. I went out and telephoned the Police and Shelter. I also managed to speak to an advisor at women's aid.
By the time the Police attended, the landlord had left the house for the day to go to his girlfriend's home. They agreed that I needed to flee and it was not safe to remain. They stated that they would speak to the landlord. I showed the Police the messages and content that the landlord had sent to me including the ones where he refers to me as "slut" and threatens to sexually assault me as well as a recording of him on my bed stating; “come and get me slut” They agreed that the messages were inappropriate and offensive.
I am now aware that the complainant does not have to show evidence of physical harm for the incident to be considered an assault. I would further bring to your attention that the definition of harassment under the
Equality Act is; - ‘Unwanted conduct which is related to a relevant characteristic and has the purpose of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the complainant and violates the complainant’s dignity’.
Further guidance is provided by the Library Briefing Paper 6648, The Protection from Harassment Act, 1997. This stipulates that under the act: ‘it is a criminal offence to pursue a “course of conduct” which amounts to harassment of another person, where that person knows (or ought to know) that the act amounts to harassment; and
In cases where one individual is harassing another, there must be at least two separate occasions of the behaviour for it to count as a “course of conduct”.
In July 2017 a joint report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMIC/HMPSI) recommended that “chief constables should stop the use of Police Information Notices and their equivalents immediately”.
The landlord contained to send vexatious and offensive messages when I fled the property. [I had to ‘block’ his number on my phone] He was also obstructive when I tried to arrange collection of my possessions; suggesting that I “should have taken them to the refuge” and “he was going to bin them”. I left the property on the 5th October 2017. He received a harassment pin warning on the 5th November 2017. This was issued by PC xxxxx xxxxx based at xxxxx xxxxxxx Police Station.
Based on the above guidance, research and strategies; I would welcome an explanation from South Wales Police, as to why the landlord was not arrested under the Protection from harassment Act, 1997 and other offenses? Evidence of the perpetrators harassment and behaviour was provided. This is why a harassment pin was issued which was the wrong action. This warning was in place of correct, robust and necessary charges, which would have sent a clear message to him that his behaviour was not acceptable and would not be tolerated. As the situation remains, he continues to behave in a condescending and egotistical manner and has shown absolutely no remorse.
When I left the property to go to the refuge, I did not have access to a vehicle and was unable to take my belongings. I therefore sent the landlord a message stating that I would collect them as soon as I was able to with a Police officer in attendance.
After I left, I discovered from an acquaintance that the landlord had been taking covert video recordings and photographs and posting these to social media with defamatory statements such as "slut lose some weight" alongside. I was distressed and incensed. I felt that my privacy had been violated.
I collected my belongings on the 8th November 2017. When I arrived at the property, there were two police officers present (at the front of the house) They spoke to the landlord who allegedly provided some reassurance that there would be no incident and they left. I went to the back to collect my belongings.
At the back of the house, I was dismayed to find that all of my possessions were outside in the garden and soaking wet. This included electronic items such as my television. All the items were damaged by rainfall and smelled damp and musty, some of the items were deliberately and maliciously damaged such as a lamp which had been stood on and broken photograph frames and wine glasses. Some of the items had been retained. Some of the items were irreplaceable such as gifts and photographs of my late Grandmother. I took photographs of the items in the garden and afterwards when I returned to the refuge. This included a storage box on which he has written 'bye, slut, mate' [attached]
When I returned to the refuge and discovered the extent of the damage and the items missing, I wrote down a list of all of the items and took further photographs. I tested my television.
I then telephoned the police to advise them of the criminal damage and advise them of the threatening behaviour of the Defendant whilst I was at the property collecting my possessions.
They said that a warning had been issued, it was now a “civil matter” and they were unable to take further action. I forwarded 13 photographs of damaged possessions to them along with further offensive messages from the landlord BUT they stated that there was “insufficient evidence”.
I exchanged several emails with Inspector xxxxx xxxxx from South Wales Police and made two statements, but despite this, they refused to take action against the landlord for his abhorrent and criminal actions. Is this in acquiescence with the statement that the HO made on the ITV programme mentioned above, that “The HO are determined to stamp out rogue landlords?”
Even more disturbing is that the Defendant is employed by the British Army. The integral, core values of such which are integrity, honesty and respect. Do these actions speak of an honourable officer upholding these values?
In a combat situation, do you believe that a person with a heinous lack of morality can be trusted to protect fellow officers? If he behaves in an abusive, threatening and offensive manner toward a civilian, - is he behaving in a similar manner toward a fellow (junior) officer?
If I were to take further action, this will demonstrate unequivocally that the standards of the British Army are NOT upheld and potentially bring disrepute to the service.
May I respectfully draw your attention to the following statement made by General Sir Richard Dannatt;-
“The British Army has a worldwide reputation for excellence, a strong reflection of its soldiers and officers. This reputation derives from, and depends upon, unequivocal commitment, self-sacrifice and mutual trust. Our values and standards are vital to operational effectiveness - they are the lifeblood that sustains the Army. They have to be more than just words, we must believe in them and live by them. Therefore it is the effective and coherent translation of these values and standards into actions that must penetrate every command and organisation until they are instinctive.
Commanders create their command ethos and must ensure that values and standards are at the centre of it, through personal example and by educating and training their subordinates. The responsibility of commanders to be at the heart of this process cannot be delegated, and I hold you all accountable for it.
The values are about character and spirit: the standards define our actions and behaviour: I expect everyone in the Army to abide by these values and standards”.
Do the actions and behaviour of this officer speak of ‘excellence’; do they uphold the values that General Sir Dannatt discusses above? In compliance with this statement; will this officer be held accountable for his abusive behaviour?
As indicated in an email to Inspector xxxxxx; I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the landlord will continue his behaviour, or worse, in the future. Another vulnerable female will be harmed; potentially more seriously next time. Are the British Army and the various organisations that are tasked with protecting the public prepared to face this inevitability and answer questions about how this could have been prevented?
As soon as I was able on the 14th March 2018 I filed a money claim through the civil court to recover damages and the cost of replacing my possessions as well as damages and compensation. The particulars of claim were served on the Defendant on the 21st March 2018.
The Defendant failed to acknowledge or defend the particulars of claim. Therefore on the 3rd May 2018, I had a judgement in default to the full value of my claim which was £xxxx I commenced enforcement action to recover the debt and due to the ineffectiveness of the County Court enforcement officers, I instructed High court enforcement to enforce the debt.
The Defendant first made contact with the court on the 11th June 2018 (this was after enforcement officers had called to his home) His request was for a set-aside of the Judgement in default.
The hearing date was listed for the 27th July 2018. The Defendant did not attend. No communication whatsoever with the court was proffered to explain his absence. District Judge xxxxx at Cardiff Civil Justice Centre stated that no further applications would be allowed by the Defendant and the Judgement remained in place.
The Defendant then requested a second set aside hearing which was listed for the 16th August 2018. It was during this hearing when District Judge xxxxxxx questioned the Defendant regarding why he failed to adhere to the CPR deadlines that the Defendant stated; "he was deployed on a tour of duty in May 2018".
Further questioning determined that the tour of duty was for a period of "one month and he was in Romania".
I have strong reason to believe that the Defendant committed perjury in making this statement and he was not in fact away.
Unbelievably, the judgement was set aside and further directions were given. When the Defendant finally provided his defence, it was non-compliant and contained some outrageous, defamatory statements.
He admitted that he referred to me as “slut” or “bitch” and further suggested that the threat of sexual assault was "banter".
It is absolutely outrageous and repugnant that he attempted to justify his threats by making the false claim that I discussed my sexual preferences with him.
He went onto suggest that when I went on dates; “I would return and go into explicit detail regarding what the male and I did”, he stated that I “discussed a rape fantasy with him” and that “I had no problem with it then” [these are his words written in his witness statement]
I am absolutely disgusted by these statements and outraged that the court allowed this [unverified] statement.
I do not ever consider that a threat such as that could ever be considered 'banter'. It is a heinous crime and any person threatened with it would understandably fear for their safety.
In the Directions Questionnaire, the Defendant indicated that he was amenable to mediation; he then declined it when an appointment was offered. He acted unreasonably throughout the entire process and made it as difficult as he possibly could. He made a mockery of the 'justice' system' and he was allowed to do so repeatedly. How is this in compliance with the 'overriding objective'? How does this ensure that both parties are on an equal footing?
The Claimant was not entitled to any legal assistance whatsoever. [I would be entitled to legal aid on a purely financial basis, but not for a civil claim]
The court process was/is incredibly difficult and tremendously stressful. There were occasions where I felt like giving up. How is that maintaining my right to 'justice'?
How is that protecting my human rights or upholding my right to be free, safe and treated with dignity? Does this system offer any protection to females who may have issues with this person in the future? Does it support any person in a similar situation or a victim of crime to obtain justice and compensation? The judicial system is not fit for purpose and fails to facilitate vulnerable people who need it the most.
Despite the difficulties I faced as a litigant in person, I was compliant throughout the entire process. I ensured that every document I presented to the court was set out in the right format and every deadline met.
No recognition of this was shown, nor any understanding of the trauma I had to experience by being in court with the person that treated me so atrociously.
During the final hearing on the 30th January 2019, I had to obtain a solicitor to represent me for the hearing as I was too anxious. At the outset of the hearing, the basis of the claim was discussed.
[When I initially completed my N1 Particulars of claim form, I stated that I was making a claim for damage to my belongings, return of deposit and interest and compensation.
I postulated some information as to the behaviour of the Defendant and provided evidence that he referred to me as "slut" and threatened me with physical and sexual assault]
However when the harassment element of my claim was put to Deputy District Judge xxxxxxx he refused to hear it as I hadn't indicated specifically that I wanted to claim for ‘harassment’ in my N1 form.
I believe that this decision was incorrect and again failed to acknowledge the trauma I had endured as a result of the Defendant's actions. How is this upholding my right to a ‘fair trial’ under section 6 of the Human Rights Act? Does it endorse my Human Right to be treated equally and with respect and dignity?
The Defendant had again filed a Witness Statement that has not verified by a Statement of truth. My solicitor requested that the statement was struck out in compliance with CPR part 32 and CPR 22.1(4)(b). Deputy District Judge xxxxxxx refused. How could Deputy District Judge xxxxxxx have made the [incorrect] assumption that the information contained within an unverified witness statement full of venomous comments with no evidence to substantiate these was honest? The reality was that it was not and again the Defendant had committed perjury with no consequence.
In a recent High Court dispute involving Capita Pension Trustees and another v Sedgwick Financial services and others, Master Shuman states that
“Unless it is a matter of extreme urgency, I would expect such application to be made by application notice and supported by evidence. When I say evidence, I am referring to a witness statement signed with a statement of truth, not a raft of correspondence sent in a piecemeal fashion to the court”.
The actions, or lack thereof, by the Defendant have been exactly as condemned by Master Shuman above. None of the information submitted by the Defendant was supported by any credible evidence whatsoever. The Defendant's witness statement should have been struck out in compliance with the CPR guidelines. What is the point of the guidelines if they are not adhered to?
The Claimant adhered to the guidelines at every stage. Why was the Defendant not held to the same rules? How is this compliant with the overriding objective?
Deputy District Judge xxxxxxx immediately cut my claim of £xxxxxx by 50% because he stated that the replacement values cannot be claimed, only the second hand values. Then he further devalued some of my items even though I had provided some receipts and valuations. I was awarded £xxxx which failed to even cover my costs.
Deputy District Judge xxxxx then made judgement in favour of the Defendant to the value of £70.00 for the costs of locks to be changed and £20.00 outstanding rent.
This is absolutely illogical........ I fled the property in fear as a result of the Defendant's behaviour.
I had no access to a vehicle. The location of the refuge was approximately 35+ miles from the Defendant's home. Why would I return and put myself in immense danger? If the Defendant changed the locks it was unnecessary and I shouldn't have to pay for it. I would never have returned to the property without the police present.
My solicitor requested that my costs were awarded due to the unreasonable behaviour of the Defendant. A costs schedule was presented to the Judge with costs of £524.00.This included travel costs to/from the court and the cost of the solicitor as well as a consultation and some help with compiling documents for the court. Deputy District Judge xxxxxxx refused implying that costs are not granted on the small claims track. This is not correct.
I have now lodged an appeal against the judgements made by Deputy District Judge xxxxxxx They are illogical and procedurally inaccurate. He failed to adhere to the CPR guidelines or apply them correctly. He and others allowed the defendant to make a mockery of the system.
I also intend to pursue a further harassment/breach of privacy claim against the Defendant.
I am currently in the process of applying for exceptional case funding [Legal Aid] and for Bar Pro Bono assistance as these cases are not something that I would be able to manage as a litigant in person with no prior knowledge of the legal system.
I hope that I am allowed this funding as I will be unable to pursue these cases without legal representation. This provides another example of my access to ‘justice’ being contravened.
I would like to take this opportunity to state that I have been treated abominably by the Police, and by the so-called justice system.
The process has caused, and continues to cause tremendous anxiety and has caused a detriment to my health.
At every stage, I have tried to do the 'right' thing, to try and obtain justice so the Defendant faces some consequence and at every stage, I have been failed by those that are meant to protect and support me.
This is a reprehensible failure of procedures and systems which are meant to protect vulnerable people. There are laws, procedures and strategies in place for good reason. Failure to adhere to these will not be tolerated.
The television programme I mentioned indicated the misery and fear that rogue Landlords perpetuate. Will the Home Office do their duty, protect the citizens that they are there to protect, uphold their promise to 'stamp-out' rogue landlords who prey on vulnerable people or do I have to take further action to ensure that this IS done?
I would like you to note that I am also making a complaint to The Prime Minister, The Home secretary: Rt. Hon Sajid Javid MP, The Parliamentary Under Secretary for crime, safeguarding and vulnerability: Victoria Atkins MP, The Welsh Minister; Rt. Hon Mark Drakeford AM, The Chief constable of South Wales Police, and forwarding this email to the Military Police as well as an associate at Shelter Cymru.
I look forward to your prompt and through investigations.