Brentford Home Closed for "Nightmare" Family

Residents' statements enabled three month ban for Millers


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A family whose drug-fuelled behaviour made life intolerable for neighbours living close by have been given their marching orders.

The Miller family began distressing their neighbours with drug dealing and drug use soon after they moved into Berkeley House, Albany Road. What used to be a quiet area quickly turned into a place where residents feared to walk alone at night according to Hounslow Council.

Closure notice
Closure notice at Berkeley House flat (Hounslow Council)

Groups of young people reportedly started using the communal areas of the block in Brentford as an unofficial chillout zone, smoking drugs, littering stairways and hallways with drug paraphernalia and even defecating in the lift. Young children were woken up at night by arguments riddled with foul and abusive language coming from the Millers' home.

After months of living in fear, a group of residents approached the council's housing enforcement officers to plead that something be done to restore the peace and quiet they had previously enjoyed.

Staff enlisted help from the police and the council’s professional witness officer, who spoke to all residents and took statements about how their lives had been affected by the Millers' behaviour. In all, 13 people described in detail the grief caused by the Millers, which gave the police the evidence they needed to apply to the courts to put an end to the anti-social and criminal behaviour happening at Berkeley House.

Berkeley House
Berkeley House (Google Street View)

The Millers' home in was officially closed by Ealing Magistrates' Court in December. The closure order gave the Millers 24-hours to leave their home and prevents them from returning to the property for three months, during which time the council will start eviction proceedings to ensure they never return to Berkeley House.

In addition to the closure order, Joshua Miller, 20, was convicted of criminal damage by Feltham Magistrates' Court. As well as a fine, Miller was given a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) prohibiting him from entering Berkeley House and the surrounding areas for two years .

Councillor Richard Foote, Hounslow's cabinet member for community protection, said: "What residents in this block had to put up with is the stuff of nightmares. No one should feel afraid or intimated in their own home but the behaviour of the Miller family made them feel trapped and in genuine fear for their safety and the safety of their children.

"Statements from residents described floors drenched with urine, used syringes in grassed areas where children played and people sleeping rough in sheds. One woman had to call her partner to escort her from the block's car park to her home after she felt intimidated by hoodies hanging around.

 Joshua Miller
Joshua Miller

"In cases like these, there's often no quick fix to resolve the issue. It takes time to build up the evidence we need to take matters to court. The result we eventually got would not have been possible without the statements from brave residents who had enough of the Millers' boozy drug-fuelled lifestyle. They can sleep easy knowing that we will do everything we can to ensure they never return to Berkeley House."

Joshua Miller’s CBO prohibits him from entering specific areas in Brentford which include Berkeley House or grounds, Albany Road and Albany Place, St Paul’s Rec, Wilkes Road, or Charlton House or its grounds. Any breaches of the CBO will result in Miller’s arrest. Anyone who knows him and spots him in any of these areas should call 999 or 101.

February 4, 2016

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