Wandsworth riot eviction mother attacks 'fascist' council

A mother served with an eviction notice after her son was charged during the London riots has accused Wandsworth Council of "behaving like fascists".

Maite de la Calva said her family was being used as scapegoats and she was not responsible for her son's actions.

Daniel Sartain-Clarke, 18, now of Kensington Gardens, Bath, has pleaded not guilty to charges of violent disorder and burglary.

The council said it would only pursue the eviction if he was found guilty.

Mr Sartain-Clarke faces trial at Inner London Crown Court next month.

The family are believed to have been the first council tenants in the country to have received an eviction notice as a result of the riots.

Ms de la Calva, 43, of Francis Chichester Way, Battersea, south London, said the eviction notice from Wandsworth Council had left her "devastated and appalled".

Spanish-born Ms de la Calva, who also has a daughter who is eight, said: "It is making me depressed.

'Ridiculous' move

"I think what they are doing is putting everyone in the same basket and that is dictatorship-like and they are like fascists.

"Yes, I think Wandsworth Council are behaving like fascists."

She added that she worked with volunteer organisations within Battersea and her family were "example citizens".

Wandsworth councillor Tony Belton, who supported the family at a committal hearing at South Western Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, said: "I think we ought to leave the penal code to the courts and I don't think local councils should get into sentencing."

Mr Belton added that the family had strong support from neighbours who "all think that evicting this family is ridiculous".

Mr Sartain-Clarke had been in custody since he had been arrested in connection with looting at an electronic goods store in Clapham Junction, south London, during the riots.

Talking after he had been granted bail, he said: "It's not that I regret anything but I am appalled that they've put her in this position because of me.

"She has nothing to do with this. These are the consequences of my actions, not hers."

A spokesperson for the council said: "It is made very clear to all tenants when they are given the keys to a taxpayer-subsidised home that all the members of their household must abide by certain rules.

"Taking part in violent acts like rioting, looting, trashing local businesses and being part of a mob that burns innocent people out of their homes, is in our view very clearly breaching those rules."

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