Eviction for tenants who organised boiler theft from previous home
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Legal
A pair of social housing tenants who orchestrated the theft of a boiler from their previous home will be evicted in the New Year.
District Judge Birkby said that Thomas Smith, 37, and his daughter Melanie Smith, 22, showed no remorse for a serious crime that could have potentially resulted in the loss of life.
The pair, of Kyle Crescent, Southey Green, have until 25 January to leave their Sheffield Homes residence.
Both were accused of making money from the theft of a boiler from Mr Smith’s previous council home at 66 Dryden Road, Southey Green, in March, after he failed to return the keys.
Melanie Smith reported the theft as a burglary but police officers concluded it was staged and she admitted she had allowed others into the property to remove the boiler, receiving £50 for herself. She was issued with an £80 fine for wasting police time.
Her father denied learning anything about his daughter’s actions until after the event, and argued that he should not lose his home.
Amazingly, however, when a housing officer told him it would cost around £3,000 to replace the boiler, Mr Smith said he should have asked for more money for it!
Ms Smith told a police officer that someone had offered her £50 on the social networking website Facebook for the boiler, and that her father had said he wanted the money first, though she denied this in court.
The council’s claim for possession of the Kyle Crescent property due to illegal activity resulted in an outright possession order.
Judge Birkby said he was satisfied that Mr Smith knew the theft was to take place and that he had profited from it.
He highlighted the horrific potential consequences of the crime, including the possible tremendous loss of life that could have been caused by the unqualified removal of the boiler.
There have been a spate of boiler thefts from empty council properties across Sheffield.
Councillor Harry Harpham, Sheffield Council cabinet member for homes and neighbourhoods, said: "We really hope this court case acts as a deterrent to anyone who thinks stealing boilers is an easy way to make money.
"You could lose your home but more importantly, you could be putting lives at risk by taking part in this extremely dangerous and serious crime."