The High Court has decided that Croydon Council subjected our client, who is a disabled asylum seeker, to inhuman and degrading treatment in breach of his human rights. These breaches lasted for a period of at least seven months.
The severely disabled man and his family had been placed in hostel accommodation by the Home Office which the Council knew was completely inaccessible. He had a single room, which he shared with his wife and two children, one of whom is a teenage girl. He relies on a wheelchair and other equipment for mobility but due to a lack of space for his equipment, he was confined to bed. He needs help with all of his personal care, including his toileting, but had to receive it in front of his children because they were all in one room. He could not get into the bathroom or out of the building. His health deteriorated and he became severely depressed. The severe pain of his medical condition – multiple sclerosis (MS) – caused him to scream at night in the room shared by his children.
Croydon Council knew that he could not receive his care in this room and knew that the hostel was a completely unsuitable place for this family; but failed to take any steps to resolve the problem.
In a strongly worded judgment issued on Friday 26 January 2024, the High Court found that Croydon Council had a duty to provide him with accommodation and should not have relied on the Home Office to solve the problem. This was because he was entitled to care from the council under the Care Act 2014 and this care could not be properly delivered without also providing accommodation.
The Court also found that the degradation he had been subjected to was so severe that his rights under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) had been breached for a period of at least seven months. His Article 8 rights to private life had also been breached.
As a result of this judgment, the Council has moved our client to a small flat where he is now receiving his care with dignity.
Monica Kreel of TV Edwards acted for the Claimant. Gráinne Mellon and Nadia O’Mara were the Claimant’s barristers.
Click here for the full judgment:
R (TMX) v London Borough of Croydon & Anor  EWHC 129 Admin
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