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  • Nfh

    Just read this in my local paper ....I'm disabled, not a drunk







    This man is accused of being a nuisance neighbour, yet he may avoid eviction if his lawyers can prove alcoholism is a disability





    A MAN accused of annoying his neighbours by playing loud music has temporarily escaped eviction after his lawyers argued he is addicted to alcohol and could therefore be classed as disabled.





    Lawyers acting for Vincent O'Halloran, 34, have been given more time to prepare their case after arguing before a county court judge that evicting him could therefore constitute discrimination.





    Mr O'Halloran faces being thrown out of his flat in Milverton Court, Park North, for playing loud music and being abusive to fellow residents.





    He appeared before Swindon county court after Swindon Council applied for an outright possession order leading to eviction, and an Anti-Social Behaviour Order excluding him from the block.





    William Rolt, representing Mr O'Halloran, called for an adjournment. He said he needed time to gather medical evidence, and to establish whether alcoholism is a disability.





    He argued that if it is, Mr O'Halloran would be protected by the Disability Discrimination Act, 1995.





    Mr O'Halloran was arrested last month for breaching a court injunction, obtained by Swindon Council in March this year, which banned him from playing loud music.





    The court heard how Mr O'Halloran's behaviour became worse when he had been drinking.





    Borough solicitor, Francis Maples, said: "Mr O'Halloran's neighbours have been finding it difficult to cope with his noise.





    "There are people living nearby who need to get up early and go to work. There is clearly a problem for people who want to get to sleep early."





    But Mr Rolt said: "There is the argument that the council has discriminated against my client. I don't think the council has given consideration at all to the Disability Discrimination Act. Nobody has considered it.





    "I'm quite willing to acknowledge that Mr O'Halloran has an alcohol dependency and that he can become out of control because of it.





    "He has said he will seek his doctor's assistance with his alcohol addiction. He has understood the errors of his ways."





    WPC Louise Penny, of Swindon Police, was one of the arresting officers on May 16 when Mr O'Halloran is said to have breached the injunction.





    She said: "He was considerably drunk. He showed contempt towards us and the neighbours, like it was a big joke and something he kept laughing about."





    Judge Charles Wade adjourned the trial to the first available date after June 30.





    In that period Mr O'Halloran must supply medical evidence and a formal written defence.





    The judge also ordered that Mr O'Halloran should give up his stereo and not use his radio or TV between 10pm and 7am.





    Milverton Court caretaker Tom Kirk has agreed to look after the stereo.





    Judge Wade added: "In the unhappy event that there are any breaches I would like them to be brought before me."





    After the proceedings on Wednesday, Mr Kirk said he was disappointed.





    "It's a shame it wasn't sorted out there and then but I suppose every man deserves a fair crack of the whip at trial," he said.





    "Mr O'Halloran used to play his music at any time, day or night. It would just go thump, thump, thump.





    "I get on with everyone here but it just takes one to start causing problems for there to be bad feeling."





    The Disability Rights Commissionsaid alcohol addiction should not be classed as a disability.





    DRC spokeswoman, Alyson Rose, said: "Alcoholism is not classed as a disability under the Act as it is considered a self-inflicted condition."

  • #2
    Thanks Jeannie - very interesting story



    Any chance you could PM me the Newspaper source so I can reproduce this on the main site news page? Thanks

    Comment


    • #3
      he court heard how Mr O'Halloran's behaviour became worse when he had been drinking.[/b]


      So are we to assume his behaviour was bad even before he he'd been drinking? In which case alcholism has not bearing on this matter!



      Badger I was thinking the same thing as I read the story. What a cop-out for any undesirable. Do rapists get away with it because they might be s*x addicts? Do we allow criminals to walk the street because they are addicts of crime?



      I'd say more but I'm speechless (that must be a first )



      Misty
      "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi

      Comment


      • #4
        If I was the solicitor concerned, I would be embarrassed about this case. Although it doesn't say, I have no doubt Mr. Halloran is legally aided in his fight against this "Council Discrimination" as he calls it. Plus he will be receiving help with his addiction, again at the cost of his neighbours and taxpayers.



        I am appalled that he thinks he is being discriminated against and that the Courts are even considering it. The laws set down in this country mean absolutely zero sometimes and precedents like these are all too easily set.



        I have the feeling Mr. Halloran is right now laughing all the way to the off-licence.



        Jeannie



        PS: the area Mr. Halloran lives in is a notorious Council estate and is regularly in the papers for one disturbance of other. Before we start reading these articles, we are already saying "Park South, Park North or Penhill?". The three main offending areas.

        Comment


        • #5
          I think this will be used more and more with this type of case. Don't be surprised when it becomes the norm.

          Comment


          • #6
            said it before,



            this country is going to the dogs!!









            i know what like it is to have a family destroyed by alcohol.

            not funny
            "Take off and nuke the site from orbit- it's the only way to be sure!"



            apologies if you are an "Aliens" fan



            Posh Noodle - NOT for the likes of YOU!!

            Comment


            • #7
              alcoholism is a dreadful thing, I had a grandfather who suffered.



              there are what I can gather different types of alcholics.

              the ones who want help with the problem

              the ones who do not know there is a problem

              and the ones who really dont want help at all.



              the latter being very sad, I know a story of a mother who has a drink problem, she has been "dried" out several times in hospital, yet as soon as she is home again she is straight back on the bottle.



              one thing I dont agree with is people using it as an excuse.

              I cant help being a bad neighbour as I drink....but if the drink stopped....who knows might be a nice bloke.

              Comment


              • #8
                Correction horsefans - this country has [/B]gone[B] to the dogs.

                Comment

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