Drug-taking pensioner who made neighbours’ lives a ‘living hell’ will be evicted, judge rules

October 20, 2011 No Comments »

A DRUG-TAKING pensioner who made the lives of residents in a Cardiff block of flats a “living hell” will be evicted, a judge has ruled.

Widower Meirion Williams was accused of letting associates carry out drug deals at his ground-floor flat in Tegfan Close, Llanishen, as well as being responsible for repeated disturbances.

The court heard of dozens of instances of anti-social behaviour over an eight-year period, including:

n The 82-year-old smoking cannabis;

n allowing gangs of drunken youths to enter his flat;

n Williams and his guests acting aggresively towards other residents.

A court order was made for his eviction in June but as bailiffs and officials gathered outside his property on July 28, the former Thornhill crematorium worker won a stay of execution.

Yesterday his applications at Cardiff County Court to have the eviction order either set aside or postponed, stayed or suspended were dismissed and the council will now apply for a date to execute the order.

At a hearing on Monday, District Judge Hywel James heard statements from Williams’ terrified neighbours read out by council representative Richard Grigg.

One scared female resident said: “I have no social life at all as I don’t want to come home late at night. I’m also having difficulty with work as I feel scared to leave the house.”

Another woman said: “I feel petrified of going out by myself.”

Giving evidence at Monday’s hearing, Williams said he was “frightened” of losing his home of 18 years and hearing the statements of his neighbours made him feel “evil”.

But he denied any wrongdoing and blamed a woman named Emma Morris for the trouble.

He said: “I feel very sorry for it but it’s not my fault.”

The court heard Williams had a range of health problems, including poor eyesight and diabetes, and was in remission after leukaemia.

Rachel Anthony, representing Williams, argued the council had “failed” to follow its own guidelines on dealing with anti-social behaviour allegations and protecting vulnerable people.

District Judge James decided the “serious and extreme acts of anti-social behaviour” merited eviction, despite Williams’ age and health.

“I have no doubt that a number of residents believe what has occurred and is occurring to be a form of living hell,” he said.

After the verdict, a neighbour – who asked not to be named – said: “We won’t have to worry about going out, we won’t have to worry about who’s going to be in there or say something.”

Cardiff councillor Judith Woodman, executive member for communities, housing and social justice, said: “We have a duty of care to all our residents and Mr Williams’ age and apparent condition of health is no excuse for the level of anti-social behaviour and distress his neighbours have been subjected to.”

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