A FAMILY turfed out of their Blackpool council house has been granted legal aid to challenge the eviction order in the European Court of Human Rights.
Paul and Amanda Wilkes, together with son Kriss and daughter Jade, were evicted from their home on Layton’s Laycock Gate estate after 57 allegations of anti-social behaviour – many of which they admit – over a five-month spell.
Blackpool Council had the family removed – and the Wilkeses are now appealing against the law they used.
After four years of unsuccessful taxpayer-funded appeals in the UK, the family has won the right to challenge the decision in Strasbourg under Section Eight of the Human Rights Act.
If they win their case, councils across the country will have to change the way they take proceedings against problem tenants.
The court papers for Paul David Wilkes and Amanda Jane Wilkes against the United Kingdom state: “Between August 7 2006 and January 2 2007 complaints concerning 57 separate incidents were recorded against the applicants and their family.
“In particular, it was alleged the second applicant and the applicants’ son and daughter had, on numerous occasions, physically and verbally assaulted security officers and neighbours.”
Other allegations include Amanda and Jade Wilkes threatening to kill a neighbour, while Kris is alleged to have threatened to burn down a block of flats and indecently exposed himself to passers-by.
Former neighbours spoke of their delight after the Wilkeses were moved on.
Brian Street, 49, said: “They made problem after problem after problem. It got to the point people were scared to go down the street.
“They were neighbours from hell, the likes of which you only see on the television.”
And Katie Parks, 28, added: “They were having parties all the time.
“It’s been so much better since they’ve gone. People aren’t as scared any more.”
Speaking to a Sunday newspaper Amanda Wilkes said: “There were times when it kicked off and I regret that. But I won’t admit to what we didn’t do.
“Of those 50 complaints, I’d say only about a third are true.”
Mrs Wilkes said people fabricated stories about her family and many incidents were caused because she and her husband retaliated to those stories.
A spokesman for Blackpool Council said the proceedings did not involve the authority as they were against Great Britain’s laws.