A Liverpool-based landlady has been handed a three-month prison sentence after carrying out an unlawful eviction on a vulnerable tenant.
Violet Musoke tried to force long-term tenant Dennis Adderley, 79, out of his home, orchestrating a cruel campaign – described as “cruel, heartless and selfish” - designed to make the property unsafe and ‘barely habitable’, leaving him with no option but to vacate after 34 years in the home.
Mr Adderley’s daughters told Liverpool Magistrate’s Court how Musoke, along with other members of her family, had harassed Mr Adderley, who was suffering from cancer and required specialist medical equipment to live – with events coming to a head when the landlord and several members of her family entered the flat, bringing inflatable items of furniture with them, and refused to leave.
In addition to this shocking act, Musoke also failed to respond to a number of improvement notices. Council officers inspected the property, and issued improvement notices after noting the following issues:
- Missing floorboards on a second-floor landing, and second floor bedroom
- Inadequate and inappropriate fire detection and alarm system and emergency lighting
- Inappropriate lock on front door, which could prevent safe exit in the event of a fire
- An unsafe electrical system – no dedicated electricity consumer unit and no means of re-setting tripped fuses
- No handrail on steps in rear year
- No effective loft insulation in the roof space
- UPVC window frames missing handles and is allowing water penetration, damp and the growth of vegetation on internal walls
- Cooker located next to door in kitchen increasing the risk of scalds/burns
- Bare timber floor kitchen surface which could not be easily cleaned
- Rear entrance door is missing a suitable mortise lock
For ignoring the improvement notices, and the harassment of Mr Adderley, Violet Musoke has been jailed for three months and ordered to pay £500 compensation to Mr Adderley.
Dennis Adderley had brought his family up here – it was his home, his sanctuary and in recent years when his health has been seriously compromised, a place where he needed a peaceful environment. You allowed him to suffer, It was damp and cold – the property must have been barely habitable.District Judge Andrew Shaw
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