Cornwall

Camborne homeless shelter owner fined for overcrowding

A woman who houses homeless and troubled men has been fined for failing to license her home and overcrowding.

Julie Stoddern, 44, from North Roskear Village, Camborne, has spent years housing troubled young men, including some who have recently left prison, Truro Magistrates' Court heard.

She pleaded guilty to failing to comply with a prohibition notice and not registering her property as a house of multiple occupation.

She was fined £500 and £4,000 in costs.

In April, housing officers from Cornwall Council inspected her home.

She was issued with a prohibition notice concerning the use of an attic room with no stair banisters and limiting the occupation to herself and four others.

A further inspection found the room was still in use, the court heard.

'Motives admired'

Ms Stoddern said the council had known for years how many people lived at her home, and taxpayers' money used to prosecute her would be better spent housing the homeless.

The magistrates said they understood and admired her motives and her intentions were "quite honourable".

However, they added it was a serious matter and the rules were their for the safety of residents.

After the hearing, Mark Kaczmarek, cabinet member for housing and planning at Cornwall Council, said: "This case highlights that there are still some landlords who are operating licensable houses in multiple occupation without a licence despite the requirements being in place for over six years."

The authority said it would continue to work with Ms Stoddern to make sure the house met an "acceptable standard".

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites