Asbo pensioner promises he'll behave

By Robyn Rosen, December 2, 2010
John Godfrey

John Godfrey

A 72-year-old sheltered accommodation resident who was given an antisocial behaviour order (Asbo) six months ago has won his legal battle to have it revoked.

John Godfrey, a resident of Daniel Court in Colindale, north west London, was given the order in May after the Jewish Community Housing Association accused him of "threatening violence" towards staff.

Mr Godfrey, a retired Merchant Navy officer, clashed with staff over conditions in his housing block and in February, the police were called after he personally removed locks from windows when his request to do so was refused.

The Asbo forbade him from causing a nuisance or using threatening, offensive or abusive language to anyone in Daniel Court or sending any correspondence to its manager, Meg Lines. It was due to last a year.

Last month, District Judge Stephen Gerlis at Barnet County Court set aside the order and refused permission to appeal on the basis that it had "no real prospect of success". A signed undertaking governing Mr Godfrey's behaviour was extended until November next year.

Mr Godfrey said: "It's a great relief, but should have never been brought in the first place.

"I want compensation on the grounds of stress and trauma."

Sara Clarke, chief executive of the JCHA, said: "The whole point of taking legal action against Mr Godfrey was to bring an end to his unacceptable behaviour and to protect our staff. The undertaking agreed to by Mr Godfrey does this.

"He is clearly unhappy with the JCHA as his landlord, but his views are not echoed by his neighbours."

Last updated: 4:06pm, December 2 2010