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Resident fails in Court of Appeal challenge to anti-social behaviour injunction

A resident of a housing association in London has failed in a Court of Appeal challenge over an injunction restraining him from committing anti-social behaviour.

The appellant appealed against a suspended committal order made by HHJ Hellman following findings that he was in contempt of court for breaking an earlier order.

He lived in an Innisfree Housing Association flat with his partner, who was the tenant, and their child.

The injunction was granted under s4 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 and forbade the appellant from using, or threatening the use of, violence towards anyone with a right to reside near his home, and from “engaging in conduct causing, or likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress” towards people in a list of categories.

In March 2018 he was arrested for an alleged breach of the injunction after complaints from a neighbour that he had played loud music, banged on the ceiling and shouted.

Judge Hellman accepted the neighbour’s account of the event and a submission from Innisfree that the appellant and his wife regarded the flat as their ‘castle’ in which they could do as they liked.

He sentenced the appellant to eight weeks' imprisonment but suspended this as he felt an immediate custodial sentence unnecessary.

The appellant told the Court of Appeal that he and his family were victims of a conspiracy perpetrated by Innisfree in conjunction with the police and the local authority, precipitated by a complaint made by his wife to the landlord.

Baker LJ, with whom Lord Justice Bean agreed, said: “It is sufficient to say that there is nothing in the material which the appellant has put before us in support of his assertion about a conspiracy which gives rise to any ground of appeal against the orders with which we are concerned.”

Baker LJ said Judge Hellman carried out a very careful analysis of the evidence and “I see no grounds on which his assessment could fairly be challenged in this court”.

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