A KNOWN ‘crack house’ has been boarded up for three months after a court hearing found the closure to be of ‘benefit to the community’.
Five witnesses – including four police officers – gave evidence on behalf of the prosecution at Worksop Magistrates’ Court to ensure the drugs den was shut down.
The property of 1 Harewood Court, in Harworth, was given an order of closure until 23rd December that will prevent anyone from going near the premises in a bid to rid the area of drugs use.
It is the FOURTH drugs den to be closed by the court in the last two months as they continue to apply a stringent policy towards so called crack houses and drugs use in the area.
Tenant and mother-of-two Zoe Georgeson, 30, was not accused of taking drugs but still has to find somewhere else to live whilst the house is boarded up.
“I am gob smacked,” she said. “I have just slept there really but I am allowed back after three months.”
Ms Georgeson’s mum Pamela Smith, of Strathmore Court, Harworth, said the children would continue to stay with her for the time being.
“At least she has not lost her house completely,” she added.
A drugs raid conducted on the premises on 14th July found syringes in front of the microwave and in the small bedroom upstairs.
Sergeant Thomas Morgan, of Worksop Police, was part of the search of the house.
“It is the only time I have been to the address,” he said. “We forced our way in and the premises was empty.”
“There was nothing found in the large bedrooms, only in the small bedroom.”
The court heard how the small bedroom had been used by Darren Lyons – a former school friend of Ms Georgeson’s.
An A1 neighbourhood housing officer, who wished not to be named, was a frequent visitor to the property.
“The garden had gone back to a terrible state,” they said. “The whole point of my visit was to make sure the garden was tidy.”
“She is also responsible for visitors’ behaviour.”
Defence solicitor David Verity questioned whether it was fair to say that the problems originated from Darren Lyons, who stayed at the house at the time of the raid.
“A lot of the incidents were prior to his release,” the housing officer added.
The council’s community safety coordinator Gerald Connor said he was pleased to see another drugs den closure in the area.
“We hope the message that communities in Bassetlaw will no longer tolerate this type of behaviour is getting out,” he added. “By working with the police, A1 Housing and the residents of Harworth we have got a positive result that can only benefit the area.”
“This case, as well as the recent closure in Worksop shows that when the community takes a stand against this type of anti-social behaviour, we have the tools in place to shut it down.”
Director of technical and housing services Don Spittlehouse said it was due to the hard work of all parties pulling together.
“We would like to remind tenants that A1 Housing does not tolerate the supply or use of drugs at any of its properties,” he added. “Nor will it accept any form of anti-social behaviour that impacts negatively on other members of the community.”
“It is hoped that this, and other recent successful cases, will serve as a warning to other A1 Housing tenants who persist in anti-social behaviour and show that we are committed to taking action against tenants who engage in this type of behaviour.”