Neighbourhood works together to tackle ASB

27 February 2019 

Sovereign Housing Association recently completed an eviction at 41 Lower Lamb Street, Bristol, making a home available for a new family.

The possession order was granted in January 2019 after Sovereign resident Matthew Grealish broke the terms of an injunction against him.

An injunction with a power of arrest had been granted by Bristol County Court in May 2018 after Mr Grealish viciously assaulted his neighbour. Mr Grealish’s neighbour, also a Sovereign resident, was considered particularly vulnerable. The order was granted to ensure his protection as well as to protect other residents in the block.

Designed to keep Mr Grealish away from his neighbour, the injunction should have prevented Mr Grealish from returning to his home address. But he ignored the order, repeatedly visiting Lower Lamb Street, where he racially abused and intimidated witnesses of the previous attack, as well as turning on Sovereign employees.

At the same time as Sovereign sought a possession order, Avon & Somerset Police Force pursued criminal charges against Mr Grealish for breaching the terms of the injunction, working closely with the housing association to create a compelling case.

Chris Jones, ASB Officer for Sovereign, said: “Obviously, as a landlord, making people homeless is not our first choice. However, when residents repeatedly reject the opportunity to engage with us, we have to consider their wider neighbourhood and the effect their actions are having on their local community.

“Mr Grealish carried out a very serious attack on an extremely vulnerable resident and racially abused a neighbour. We had to take strong action to protect our other residents from Mr Grealish’s behaviour. These witnesses should be commended for their bravery in coming forward. This kind of close engagement with our other residents is essential when resolving these kind of cases.”

One of the residents involved in bringing the case to court, said: “I feel safe to come home at last."

Sovereign were advised by Bevan Brittan’s Housing Management’s team.