Peace restored to neighbourhood after tenant's prostitute and crack lair closed
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Legal
A Coventry man who allowed his social home to be used for a crack den and hang-out for prostitutes has been convicted.
West Midlands Police gained a premises closure order and landlord Whitefriars Housing has issued possession proceedings to evict tenant Gary Paxton.
A court heard that drug user Paxton, 48, allowed prostitutes and other members of the public to use Class A drugs at his home in Alpha House, Barras Green.
Whitefriars worked closely with police to obtain the evidence so that a conviction could be secured against Paxton, whose neighbours became too scared to speak out against him.
The house association also obtained an injunction banning the resident from entering his former block and prohibiting him from entering within a mile radius of the property.
It was revealed that Paxton frequently left the gates to Alpha House open so suspected drug takers could come and go freely.
Tony Marsella, who works in Whitefriars’ antisocial behaviour team, said: “Mr Paxton was causing misery to other residents. His actions led to drug users being allowed access into Alpha House who scared and intimidated the legitimate residents.
“We hope this case is a wake-up call to any other residents who are causing a disturbance to others.
“We work closely with the police and Coventry City Council, as in this instance, and we urge any resident who is negatively affected by their neighbours to contact either us or the police. There are a range of actions that can deal with many types of antisocial behaviour to ensure people don’t have to suffer.”
PC Dawn Murkett led the police operation to close the drugs den. She said: “Mr Paxton and his visitors were a real nuisance for other tenants.
“At all times of the day and night there was rowdy behaviour which was really frightening for the many elderly and disabled residents who live in the block. The result was that most were too scared to leave their homes and when they did, they were often intimidated by the presence of drug addicts and prostitutes.
“Despite their fear, the residents stuck together and shared their concerns with police and landlord, Whitefriars Housing Group.
“With their information and the evidence gathered when the flat was raided in October and January, we were able to secure a crack house closure order and property was immediately sealed up.
“In addition, Mr Paxton is banned from entering a one mile radius of his old flat. We will be monitoring this very closely and take robust action should the order be breeched.”
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