A gipsy thrown off a campsite after her son threatened other travellers with a gun suffered a breach of her human rights, European judges ruled yesterday.
Maria Buckland and her family were evicted after being accused of causing a ‘very substantial nuisance’ and presenting ‘a risk of disturbance and violence’.
Despite a series of appeals being rejected by Britain’s highest courts, judges in Strasbourg yesterday ruled the eviction was an ‘extreme’ interference with the 53-year-old’s human rights.*sigh*
They also ruled she should receive £3,400 to compensate her for ‘feelings of frustration and injustice’.
The judgment by the European Court of Human Rights could now pave the way for other traveller families to use human rights grounds to fight eviction orders.Boo! Hiss! Evil interfering ECHR again! Which hapless council is stuck for the legal fees this ti..
Oh. Hang on…
The Buckland family first moved to the Cae Garw caravan park in Port Talbot, South Wales, in 1999.
Six years later the Gipsy Council – the traveller-run organisation which operated the local authority-owned site – obtained a possession order claiming Mrs Buckland and five others were causing trouble.Ahahahahahahahahahahahahaha….
*pauses for breath*
In November 2007, three Appeal Court judges headed by Lord Justice Dyson upheld a possession order against Mrs Buckland, saying that she had a ‘generally disruptive family’ with a ‘culture of disrespect’ who ‘presented a risk of disturbance and violence’.It’s hard to see quite how she didn’t fit right in, isn’t it?
The European judges admitted that, during another appeal, a Swansea county court judge ‘was satisfied that her son, who resided part of the time with her, had been involved in an incident in which he threatened someone with a gun, although it was not clear whether the gun had been real or an imitation; and had dumped garden refuse’.
However they claimed that the only wrong committed by Mrs Buckland herself was the failure to pay a £95 water bill.
They ruled that British judges had been wrong to claim the eviction order was beyond challenge, ruling it should have been considered in the light of Article Eight of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees respect for a person’s home, private and family life.Even where that impacts negatively on others’ rights. How’d you like them apples, Gypsy Council? Are you starting to get a glimmer of how other people might view all your victories?
In total Mrs Buckland - who left the site in May 2008 to live on land owned by her brother, which had no planning permission for residential use – was awarded nearly £7,000 in damages and legal costs.Let’s hope they are being awarded against the Gypsy Council, and not against the British taxpayer.
Because Ma Buckland’s already drunk deeply from that trough…
Mrs Buckland’s case is thought to have cost taxpayers around £80,000 in legal aid and local authority fees on its way through the British court. Legal aid is not paid by the taxpayer to support cases in Strasbourg.So where’d she get the money for that from? Should HMRC be sniffing around?