Race hate resident is spared eviction

An eviction notice is served on the home in Green Hey
An eviction notice is served on the home in Green Hey

A resident convicted of a race hate incident has been warned he could lose his home.

Wigan county court fought shy of throwing Keith Edwards out of his Up Holland address after the local council applied to have him evicted after a criminal conviction.

But it did impose tight sanctions on the 51-year-old from Alma Court which means that further misbehaviour could see him on the streets.

Last September Edwards was given a 16-week suspended jail sentence, hit with a restraining order and ordered to pay £200 court costs, £150 compensation and a £115 victim surcharge after Wigan magistrates convicted him of a racially-aggravated public order offence and of resisting a police officer in the execution of his duty.

Eviction proceedings were brought before the county court by West Lancashire Council and a suspended possession order granted.

It means that although he keeps his home, the authority can now exercise tighter controls over his behaviour.

And it can immediately return to court if Edwards is believed to have breached his tenancy agreement or the terms of the order and ask justices for the order to be made forthwith.

Jacqui Sinnott-Lacey, the council’s director of housing and inclusion, said: “The case sends out a strong message to tenants that the council will not tolerate racist behaviour or harassment of neighbours from people living in its accommodation.

“Should Mr Edwards fail to adhere to the order, which runs until January 3, 2020, the council will have no hesitation in returning to the court to ask for him to be evicted.

“Other tenants should take heed of this warning and make sure they treat people living on their estate with respect, or they could face serious consequences.”