‘OVERKILL’: Blind and deaf tenant threatened with eviction from residential home after lift encounter

An 83-year-old partially blind and deaf man has been threatened with eviction from his residential home in Leigh-on-Sea.

Residents at Yantlet in London Road endured an armed police response last month after a tenant threatened residents with a bow.

They then pinned up an article about the incident in the lift after South Essex Homes (SEH) refused them access to their locked notice board.

Two SEH employees then visited the complex to remove the articles but finding them in the lift partially sighted David Purves believed them to be intruders and asked them to leave. This, SEH said, threatened their personal safety and as well as a letter threatening eviction, Mr Purves was placed on an unacceptable behaviour register for two years.

Leslie Parris, chairman of the residents’ association, said: “Myself and one other witnessed the incident. David can only see shadows and has faced intruders before. As the lift opened all he could see was two shadows pulling your article off the wall. He had just had an eye operation the day before.

“He said “stop what are you doing”? They pushed passed him and out of the door. David is deaf so speaks loudly and is registered blind .

“He is the most gentle man and is responsible for the garden. They are supposed to be social workers dealing with mental health people every day.”

Mr Parris added: “The two minutes of this encounter does not need this sort of action. It’s overkill. No investigation was carried out they just took their employees word for it. In the letter they say they fled scared but they were on their way out anyway. David was in tears when I read the letter to him.”

In his letter to Mr Purves dated September 1, Sam Elliott, SEH housing services manager said: “Should I receive further reports of abuse of staff, I will commence legal action against you.

A SHE spokesperson said: “When the conditions of tenancy are breached, where appropriate we will issue a written warning and advise what the consequences may be for any further breaches.

“The safety of our staff is of paramount importance – therefore, when a resident has acted in an intimidating or aggressive manner, this is noted on an unacceptable behaviour register so any future meetings with that resident are approached with the required level of caution.”


Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter