My Human Rights Were First Taken Away From Me In November 2016.
A visit from Senior housing officer for Cornwall Housing in my area,Lindsay Baxter & her assistant Sarah Payne (the same assistant that did my first house check in September 2016 entirely from my sofa, except for when she looked out of my kitchen window so I could show her the mammoth overgrowth in the garden that should have been done before we moved in on 01/08/16, which she said she would sort out for me straight away!) culminated in the complete obliteration of:
ARTICLE 3. of The Human Rights Act 1998
& PROTOCOL 1-ARTICLE 1. of The Human rights Act 1998.
(these rules are set out in a previous post here in my blog as reference)
This breach occurred due to a falling out with my next door neighbour on 25th October 2016 over her son David’s (name changed for legal purposes) frequent rages, which were very distressing as the walls between the houses on my estate were paper thin with no cavity wall insulation to dull the noise. It was like living in the same house!
I was also suffering from Complex PTSD due to childhood trauma & abuse & then a string of very abusive relationships, which made it very difficult for me to cope with at that time & I was awaiting therapy at a women’s centre in Bodmin…long waiting list!
A surveyor from Cornwall Housing (NM) who happened to be standing in my lounge one afternoon & heard the neighbours’ conversation whilst drinking a cup of tea was Horrified that it could be heard so clearly & said to me ‘’What’s that?’’… when I told him it was my neighbours he said ‘’My god, that’s terrible, you shouldn’t be able to hear that, you need Celotex soundproofing I’ll mention it to the office. I like your rugs by the way!’’
I told him ‘’That’s nothing, you should hear it when they start shouting, or play music, or when her kid kicks off’’. That was in February 2017. The surveyor had come to remove a ‘key safe’ from my back gate & I took the opportunity to show him my vastly overgrown garden that Cornwall Housing should have cut back prior to my moving in the previous year on August 1st. I was still waiting for it to be done as it was a 40 metre garden & far too overgrown for me to handle myself.
The surveyor said ‘’Oh, I see what you mean, you need a 4 man team for this job, I’ll get it sorted for you over the next few weeks’’. I was very grateful as it was preventing me from letting my dogs & granddaughter safely use the garden to play in so I offered him a cuppa; hence the conversation regarding the paper thin walls!
Back to my visit from the housing officers in November 2016 regarding the ‘fall out’ with my neighbour…
They arrived stone faced with an aggressive attitude & I knew at once it was going to be very unpleasant & biased in favour of my neighbour who had lived in the street for 12 years. I was correct in my assumptions … it was extremely unpleasant & they made me feel like a small child being severely chastised.
They weren’t prepared to listen to Anything I had to say about the reason Why I had banged on the wall at 3.10pm on 25th October during the half term to tell my neighbour to ‘Shut the f up & get that boy some help’. I had spent over 2 months being woken up at 5.30am every morning to the sound of the 9yr old son screaming & shouting in angry rages with his mother doing nothing to quieten him at all….Ever! & that particular day he had been doing it all day & my nerves were frayed to say the least. I had also just lost a dear friend whom I had not spoken to for 15 years & was wracked with guilt.
I told the housing officers that I had tried to apologise to Melissa 10 minutes afterwards, but that she was not interested & after screaming a load of abuse at me through my door she said she had reported me to Cornwall Housing.
Lindsay Baxter kept interrupting me to repeat like a mantra “Don’t forget, you’re on a 12 month Starter Tenancy & we can have you out within 2 weeks at any time”.
I tried to explain how thin the walls were & how the surveyor NM had heard for himself whilst in my home just how bad the noise nuisance was due to this, but they weren’t interested.
I even tried reminding Sarah Payne of our conversation about all the noise at night & David’s constant screaming rages & how she had written it all down in her file for the records in case of any ‘future issues’…. to my utter horror Miss Payne (in my ass) looked me straight in the eye & said in a flighty, condescending tone ‘’I have no recollection of that conversation at all’’. Then Lindsay Baxter chimed in for the umpteenth time ‘’Don’t forget, you’re on a starter tenancy & we can have you out within 2 weeks at any time.’’ & then, just to drive the blade into my back a little further she ended the sentence with ‘’We’ve been informed that you are living in this 3 bedroom house alone & that your daughter & granddaughter are never here & it wasn’t Melissa that told us. You are Not to make Any complaints At All about Melissa, her children (she also had a daughter called Philippa….name also changed for legal reasons, who was 11.) & you are Not to cause any trouble, walk in front of her house at any time, talk to her or her children, or upset them’’
Melissa had lied to the housing officer Lindsay Baxter when she complained about me telling her to get David some help when I banged on the wall on 25/10/16 & had falsely told her that I had made her son cry…a complete lie, I never did any such thing.
Again I was reminded of the penalties of losing my home within 2 weeks if I ever complained to anyone about Anything coming from next door, effectively giving Melissa free reign to make my life a living hell, which she did from that day forward.
As they were leaving my home I tentatively asked if it would be possible for the garden to be cut back as I was still unable to use the garden safely, as were my granddaughter & dogs. (yes, my granddaughter & my daughter, who was navy training in Portsmouth at the time to be a flight engineer at RNAS Culdrose, were indeed living in the house with me but obviously not all the time & Baxter knew this when we were offered the house!)
& also about whether the draughty windows could be sorted as Port Is It (changed for legal reasons!) is bloody windy at the best of times!
Lindsay Baxter said ‘’You’ll have to sort that out with my assistant Miss Payne, she’ll be Dealing with you from now on’’ dismissing me with a side sweep of her hand & with that they left.
I was utterly broken. Terrified of losing our home. In a part of Cornwall miles away from Helston where we had been living previously for 13 years very happily (move to North Cornwall was to facilitate my daughters navy training) & I just wanted to break down & sob my heart out. Not an option for me as the walls were too thin & I didn’t want to give Melissa the pleasure of hearing me. So I adopted the same survival tactics I had been using all my life to cope with stress & pain…..’’Adapt & Survive’’. A coping mechanism I had mastered as a child which stood me in good stead for my entire life up to that point in time.
& with that one, completely devastating visit from the women I would later nickname ‘’the gestapo’’, my entire existence became a living hell & my Human Rights took their first breach… that breach of human rights defences took a severe beating daily from then on & has now reached a point where I have No rights at all….not even Privacy in my own home.