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Couple face court in eviction battle
A COUPLE accused of making their neighbours’ lives a misery appeared in court in the hope of avoiding being kicked out of their council home.
Sara Penlington, 39, and Paul James, 36, appeared at Basildon Magistrates’ Court to hear if an application to shut down their flat, in Clay Hill Road, Basildon, would be granted.
The pair arrived 20 minutes late for the hearing, but still found time to finish off their cigarettes and swig from cans of beer before entering the court building.
Magistrates’ adjourned the civil case for a second time in the interests of justice while Mr James finalises plans for legal representation.
Basildon Council officials and police swooped on the flat on August 7 to issue the first closure notice on a property in the borough.
The papers mean Ms Penlington and Mr James could be thrown out after fed-up neighbours complained about antisocial behaviour and noise.
If the closure notice is successfully turned into a closure order by magistrates’, it would mean the Clay Hill Road property is shut down for up to three months in a bid to disrupt the ongoing nuisance.
The council is then expected to apply for a county court possession order to evict the tenants permanently.
Jon Holbrooke, who represented Basildon Council at the hearing, said: “It is hoped during the three-month window, the council will he able to get to the county court and get the possession order.
“If it is not possible within the limited time period, magistrates have the power to extend it in the right circumstances.”
Ms Penlington and Mr James will return to Basildon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday to hear their fate.
The closure notice will remain in place until next week’s hearing. Ms Penlington and Mr James are allowed to remain in the property for the time being, but visitors are not permitted.
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