Domestic violence charity praises Islington Council for evicting ‘violent man’ even after he was cleared of attacking ex
PUBLISHED: 17:50 19 April 2017 | UPDATED: 09:05 20 April 2017
A leading domestic violence charity has applauded Islington Council’s bold decision to evict a tenant who was seen attacking his ex-partner – even after he was acquitted in court.
Council workers intervened to shield the victim from further injury when they witnessed the assault in the communal space of an Old Street housing block.
They later gave evidence when the man was prosecuted but despite their statements and CCTV footage, he walked free.
But the town hall took matters into its own hands and evicted the social tenant anyway, saying it did not need to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt like the justice system did.
The tenant, who the council has chosen not to name, launched a legal challenge but it was eventually thrown out at the Court of Appeal.
Council community safety boss Cllr Andy Hull said: “Ending violence against women and girls is everyone’s business. It should never be tolerated, in any form, by any of us.
“Making Islington a fairer place must also mean making it a safer place for everyone who lives here, especially in their own homes, and that’s exactly why we took action in this case.
“As a community, we stand alongside survivors of abuse and are determined to support them to report these crimes, rebuild their lives and stay safe, and to do even more to ensure its perpetrators are brought to justice.”
The council earlier this year launched a new strategy for combating violence against women and girls in the borough.
Now their work has been praised by Mary Mason, chief exec of Islington charity Solace Women’s Aid, which has been fighting domestic violence in London for more than 40 years.
She said: “Far too often we see women who are made to choose between staying with the abuser or leaving their secure home.
“If they are able to leave, women and children are forced to go through a rigorous assessment of their homelessness, to move multiple times between unsuitable and unsafe temporary accommodation like hostels and B&Bs, while perpetrators of abuse often go unpunished and remain within family-sized homes.
“It is important to see Islington Council setting an example of how they can work to protect victims, especially when many boroughs and housing associations continue to turn a blind eye to abuse happening on their doorstep.
“There is still a long way to go to ensure survivors of abuse receive the support and protection they deserve, but the move is certainly a step in the right direction.”
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