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Housing officers conspired to unlawfully evict a Sudanese refugee from his council flat, destroy all his possessions and cover up the evidence, a court has ruled.
The man, who had been a tenant of Southwark Borough Council in London for 23 years before he was evicted over rent arrears of £18 per week, ended up living on the streets and sofa surfing for over a year.
They entered his home while he was at a court hearing and removed all his possessions, including his laptop and data sticks containing years’ worth of research, his passport, and his credit card.
The man, known as AA in the court case, said he felt robbed of his dignity and pride.
Judge Anthony Thornton, QC, said: “The various officers conspired to evict AA by unlawful means, to seize and destroy his possessions by unlawful means and to cause him harm and loss by evicting him and dispossessing him of his possessions.”
Southwark Borough Council, admitted they had had acted badly “in the wrong” and said it had reached an out-of-court settlement with the man.