Tenant's window nailed open and door removed after being illegally kicked out
Three people have been given suspended prison sentences after illegally evicting a tenant, removing her door and nailing her window open.
In October, Kara Cox returned home to her shared house in Rugeley to find the security code to her floor had been changed and a handwritten note purporting to be her notice of eviction.
She was unable to access her home or belongings, or look after her pet rabbit, and could also see the door to her room had been removed.
Ms Cox eventually accessed her room the following day but then the fire door was removed and the heating and electricity to her room was switched off.
Her window was nailed open and her fridge freezer unplugged which rendered her food inedible.
After action by Environmental Health Ms Cox eventually was able to return to her room a few days later but was forced to stay in emergency accommodation for some time.
Nigel Whorton, Jonathon Williams and Rebecca Brayshaw have all now been found guilty of two offences at Cannock Magistrates' Court.
Whorton, 57 of The Croft in Shenstone, Lichfield, and Williams, 39 of Blackberry Lane, Sutton Coldfield, were each sentenced to 16 weeks in prison while Brayshaw, 36 of Offley Brooke, Eccleshall, was sentenced to eight weeks after the prosecution by Cannock Chase Council.
All sentences were suspended for 18 months but each of them will have to carry out unpaid work and pay £1,000 compensation to Ms Cox.
Between them the three defendants must also pay council costs of over £9,000.
Mike Edmonds, head of environment and healthy lifestyles at the council, said: “Most landlords behave responsibly towards their tenants, but with those that don’t the council will not hesitate to take action to ensure tenants in the district are protected.
"In this case, the actions taken by the individuals concerned were aimed at forcing the tenant out of her home and this is totally unacceptable.
"We are pleased the court supported our response and hope that this sends out a strong message to landlords who are prepared to abuse their tenants rights."
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