Paranoid schizophrenic ignored by Hackney Council for four years wins legal battle over unsafe front door
A man who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia was left terrified for his life after being forced to live with a broken front door for four years close to where a series of stabbings took place.
Troy Goldie, 27, was left so desperate that he became suicidal during the four-year battle with Hackney Council over the disrepair to his property on the Regent Estate.
Troy, who also suffers from emotionally unstable personality disorder and depression, has now won a civil case against the council with support from London law firm Osbornes Law.
The work, which also included a collapsed ceiling, was finally finished in November following an out of court settlement that was finalised earlier this month. As well as the works being completed, Troy was awarded compensation and had his legal costs paid.
Troy said he was terrified for his life as there had been four stabbings on his street in his time at the property and the front door could easily have been opened by gangs on the estate. He is speaking out as he wants a system put in place where social housing landlords, including councils, to treat people with mental health problems seriously.
He said: “Living like this for four years has been hellish. There have been stabbings within 50 metres of my front door, I’ve been threatened with violence and spat at. All the time my front door has been broken and could easily have been forced open, yet the council wouldn’t repair it. They replaced other front doors on the estate but not mine, despite them knowing of my mental health problems and me calling them regularly.
“This has left me depressed and at times suicidal as I don’t understand why they replaced other people’s doors and not mine. I have been scared to be in my flat and have been unable to sleep as I react to the smallest of noises, while I have been worried that somebody was going to break in when I am away from my flat. This has led to me having panic attacks. Despite all of this Hackney haven’t even apologised.
“I feel that I have been ignored by the council and fear other people with mental health problems will have suffered the same fate. I don’t want anybody else to go through what I have when it could so easily have been rectified a long time ago.”
Edward Taylor, a specialist housing litigation lawyer at Osbornes Law who represents Troy, said: “My client has needlessly suffered serious mental torment for four years, all because the local authority did not take his claims seriously. Local authorities must act reasonably, and comply with their legal obligations, in the same way they would expect their residents to. It is frankly outrageous that Hackney Council ignored the law and at the expense of a highly vulnerable schizophrenic tenant.
“Even after I was instructed and commenced court proceedings, it still took some eight months for Hackney to meet its duty and replace the front door. This is on top of years of pleading from Mr Goldie himself. Whist what has happened is unforgiveable, I would urge Hackney Council to now formally apologise to Mr Goldie, and to review its procedures to guard against this happening to others in future.”
If you have a housing issue and would like to speak to Edward Taylor or a member of the Housing and Social Care team, call 0207 485 8811, or complete an online enquiry form here.
Read full story in Hackney Citizen