A landlord in his 70s who claims he was just ‘helping people’ has been handed a suspended prison sentence.
That’s because he housed up to nine tenants in a property which had been the subject of a ban.
Robert Crow, 71, was convicted of 18 offences relating to dangerous and insanitary living conditions in 2018 and was subsequently permitted only to have a maximum family members and long-standing friends visit the property in Southend at any one time.
But when council officers visited in January 2019, they found various people in different rooms, including one saying he worked for Crow in return for accommodation. A woman said she was renting from Crow and other tenants were found with signs of domestic activity such as washing hanging out to dry.
Basildon Crown Court heard that Crow, who admitted breaching the lettings ban, believed he was just helps people while at the same time being in substantial mortgage arrears on the property.
Judge Andrew Hurst said: “You had in effect blighted the lives of those around you ... [the ban] was there to protect them from any other future incident.
“In mitigation it was said you fell behind the times in terms of your obligations. You yourself reported anti-social behaviour on several occasions. You were at times somewhat overwhelmed by the tenants in your property.”
Crow received a six-month suspended prison sentence, a £10,000 fine and must pay £8,000 towards prosecution costs.
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