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Human rights: European Court challenges eviction of Blackpool family

Following the eviction of a family from their Blackpool council home, the European Court of Human Rights has questioned whether the UK government was acting in line with the European Convention on Human Rights.

Paul and Amanda Wilkes, and their two children, had been described as "neighbours from hell" who terrorised the other inhabitants of the Laycock Gate housing estate.

The family were accused of threatening to kill neighbours, indecent exposure, noise, graffiti and violence.

Mrs Wilkes said: "We are no angels. I will hold my hands up and admit to what we did wrong.

"But I won't admit to what we didn't do. Of those 50 complaints, I'd say only about a third of them are true.

"Living in that estate was the worst that's happened in our lives. People were telling lies about us, putting in false complaints."

After 57 recorded allegations of anti-social behaviour, the family were finally forced to leave their council flat after officials claimed they were "endangering the health and safety of other people living in the locality".

In response, the Wilkes family argued that their human rights had been breached under Article 8 of the convention which allows a "right to respect for private and family life".

For four years the case was heard in English courts, the Wilkes family using legal aid for funding. And when it was decided that the eviction was fair, the case was taken up by the European Court of Human Rights.

Mrs Wilkes said: "It's been a struggle. It's not easy to get a case to the European Court of Human Rights. Our original lawyer said we could get quite a bit of money."

The case continues.

Related links:
Read more on this story (Inside Housing)
Read 'Can I be evicted from my council house?' (FindLaw)
Find local property solicitors throughout the UK (FindLaw)