A premiership footballer’s house was trashed by a group of unaccompanied asylum seeker minors put there by Croydon Council.
The Albanian’s aged 18-25 had no supervision and so turned the three-bedroom house at 8 Stuart Road which has a HMO licence and is owned by Chelsea star Victor Moses (pictured) in to a ‘party zone’ and ‘doss house’.
The tenants graffitied the back of the house with swear words and gang signs (pictured) but worse still ruined the lives of neighbours who lived in fear of them.
Within a couple of days of the police speaking to the council a closure order was issued by magistrates and the property has been sealed with metal shutters.
Police said a relative of the footballer was ‘appalled’ by the state of the house which had been decorated just a year before.
The tenants were accused of a litany of crimes and were witnessed daubing graffiti on the wall of William Hill bookmakers by local councillor Karen Jewitt, who was having a meeting with a fellow councillor and council anti social behaviour officer at the time.
She followed them back to the address where she spoke to frightened neighbours.
Residents overlooking the garden were shocked by the state of the back of the house and said they saw the group with BB guns.
They were reportedly seen smoking cannabis and were rumoured to be runners for the notorious CR7 gang. They chased a window cleaner down the road with a pole and the house had been linked to the car jacking of a cab driver.
Police have raised concerns that the group weren’t properly supervised and that in light of the criminal activity their immigration status wasn’t challenged, and have asked for a meeting with the Home Office.
Instead of being evicted the group were rehoused by the council who are finding it difficult to recruit social workers, so it is not uncommon for one social worker to be responsible for the supervision of 50 children. Almost 40 new unaccompanied children arrive in Croydon ever month.
Deputy leader of the council Alison Butler, and cabinet lead for housing, said: “My understanding is that we did have young people with no recourse to public funds placed there, but the major perpetrators were not the residents but those who ‘moved in’. All the Croydon young people have now been moved to alternative properties and dispersed so the same group are not living together. Like any young people, there remains a responsibility to see that they are housed.
The property is now boarded up and when refurbished will have alternative use.”
Moses who grew up in Croydon and started his footballing career at Crystal Palace is currently on loan to a Turkish club Fenerbahce.
According to the land registry he purchased the Thornton Heath house in 2016 for £395,000 and is listed on the council’s mandatory houses of multiple occupation register as being the licence holder with the property managed by Stacey Moses for six occupants.
He set up a property company called Nyah after his baby daughter and an in interview last year hinted that he was interested in going in to the property business as soon as he calls time on active football.
The Chronicle was unable to contact Victor or Stacey Moses for a comment.
Police working with the council also gained a closure order against an occupant living in the social housing provided Crystal Court on Woodville Road run by Orbit Housing Association. Escalating drug abuse and heavy drinking led Camberwell Magistrates to issue the three month order after hearing a tenant of the Crystal Court property had been using drugs in his flat for the past three years and had become a magnet for street drinkers and drug users.
They congregated near the junction of Thornton Heath High Street and Woodville Road and disturbed other tenants at all hours of the day and at night by shouting up to the perpetrator’s window to gain entry to the block.
As reported in last month’s Chronicle tenants complained they found people sleeping in the bin room and cycle store, with needles discarded and urine and faeces in the communal areas. The front door to the building was also missing for weeks and a security guard and dog stationed outside by Orbit until a replacement door was sourced.
Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for safer Croydon and communities said: “Nobody should have to put up with behaviour that leaves them fearful and distressed. The council will act to protect everyone’s right to a safe, home environment and those who cause this level of disruption to their neighbours will always face consequences.”
However, police and councillors complain that Orbit for fail to attend meetings or respond to correspondence.Police are also seeking a second closure order for another flat at the Woodville Road complex.
Andrew Meyer, Head of Orbit Tenancy Services said: “We want all of our customers to live in homes that are safe and free from anti social behaviour. In this particular case, we’ve worked closely with local residents, police and Croydon Council to address the issues. We are pleased that the closure order was issued and that our customers no longer need to live in fear of intimidation.”