Saturday, 21 July 2012

Update: A Senseless Waste Of Life

Earlier this week I wrote a post about the death of Peter Williams.

My information was gleaned from the media and I did not know Mr Williams personally.

I'm very grateful to Richard H Harris, a friend of Mr Williams, for taking the time to comment on my initial post and reproduce his comment here in case it's missed.

We did try. For three years. If we hadn't he'd have killed himself long ago.
We only managed to get him legal representation in Nov 2011. Noble Solicitors. They failed to follow instructions and left him high and dry with only days before the eviction in 2012. We found new solicitors and had a hearing the day before the eviction. The judge refused time to allow them to build a case (they had a day which was just not enough). The judge allowed them 30 minutes to arrange payment of the £70k. This was when the offer of £1k per month was refused. The £70k has not to this day been broken down (despite numerous requests). When we first heard of Peter’s problems the bill was already over £30k. I wrote to the Council for a breakdown. They REFUSED to give it on the ground to calculate it would further inflate the debt. I have that and much more in writing!

More here.


Apogee said...

Reading the background to this story,
The guy never had a chance. But looking at the interest charges quoted, I wonder if there were debt collectors involved,which may be why the council didn't want to give an accounting as the whole business, in the way various court orders were obtained and processed, could be illegal,due to councils issuing summonses they are not allowed to do.,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1440&bih=753

Seems it does happen!

Barbarian of the North said...

I'd suggest contacting Private Eye about this. They might be able to get some more information, albeit too late to help Peter.

There will almost certainly be other similar cases that have to be highlighted.

RMcGeddon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Observer said...

This really makes me angry & I am normally a defender of the public sector.

Building up the debt like that is immoral. What happened after his death? Did they stake a claim on his estate or did they get nothing?

I agree with the earlier poster this is one for Private Eye to take up.

banned said...

My City Council made unlawful demands of me re Council Tax. Once I had established that I would be unable to communicate with anyone with the authority to change their decision I welcomed their threat of going to Court.
And so we did, 5 times. Unrepresented I won and the Magistrate made clear her contempt both for the councils decision making process and their conduct of my particular set of Court cases even offering me costs which I respectfully declined.

Peter Williams might have been well advised to do likewise at the earliest opportunity.

banned said...

pt 2. On the subject of offering to pay by installments; twice they tried to badger me into doing this in the lobby of the Court and both times I refused "You wanted to go to Court and that is exactly what we are going to do". Cost them a fortune but I was pleased that it was only about a bit of money and not something important like my childrens welfare or the roof over my head, little realising that some councils took things as far as the unfortunate case of Peter Williams.

subrosa said...

I've no idea Observer, although I should think they'll have to wait for the inquest to be completed and with that top lady QC on the case, pro bono, I have a feeling the council will be shown to be guilty of some irresponsibility.

subrosa said...

Sadly I don't think Mr Williams was well enough to take on these people banned.

Depression is a hell of an illness in some cases and the man seemed a very private person. He did pay off the initial debt of course but couldn't afford the 'legal costs'.

Anonymous said...

The Council stand by their decision and have indicated they will oppose any motion to annul the bankruptcy.

I have emailed Private Eye today.

Thank you for caring!

subrosa said...

Of course they will stick with their attitude Richard, but you have a top lawyer on side now - although too late for Mr Williams.

If there's any way I, or my readers I'm sure, can help do email me.

My email is in the right hand column.

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