Council and police successfully extend Cassidy injunction

Published 5th June 2018

Scenes from an unauthorised encampment at Black Patch Park Smethwick in October 2016 which included the Cassidys along with other families.
Scenes from an unauthorised encampment at Black Patch Park Smethwick in October 2016 which included the Cassidys along with other families.

A travelling family have been banned from setting up unauthorised encampments in Sandwell for five years – while the head of the family is now banned from the whole borough for a decade.

Today’s ruling on 14 members of the Cassidy family also ordered them to pay costs of nearly £16,000.

The Cassidys were originally banned from setting up unauthorised encampments in Sandwell last year and today (Tuesday 5 June), Sandwell Council’s legal team, anti-social behaviour team and West Midlands Police secured an extension to the original injunction.

Under the terms of the extended injunction, father John Cassidy is banned from all of Sandwell until June 2028. He is also forbidden from using or threatening violence, causing a nuisance or annoyance and removing any padlock, lock or bolt from anywhere in Sandwell.

The five-year extension applies to 13 other members of the Cassidy family and forbids them from setting up unauthorised encampments, dumping rubbish, damaging padlocks or entering the borough other than to drive through it until June 2023.

Also included in the injunction are restrictions on associates of the family (persons unknown) who are forbidden from setting up unauthorised encampments in Sandwell.

His Honour Judge McKenna heard from solicitors for the council and police how the Cassidy family had caused anti-social behaviour including assaults, large scale disorder, threats, intimidation, criminal damage and an extreme amount of fly-tipping across Sandwell. 

The group, along with up to 40+ caravans and vehicles, set up camp on Sandwell Council and privately-owned sites more than 25 times between June 2014 and August 2016.

Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and investment Councillor Paul Moore said: “I’m incredibly pleased that we have been successful in securing an extension to the injunction and I’d like to thank the council’s legal services team for their hard work.

“This injunction is a huge part of our success in keeping unauthorised encampments out of Sandwell.

"The original injunction we’ve had in place since last summer has worked and we’ve been able to prove that to the court.

“We’re committed to protecting our land and our residents from unauthorised encampments."

Superintendent Richard Youds from Sandwell police said, “This family have caused problems to the residents of Sandwell for a number of years.

"The Injunction was originally obtained as a result of close partnership working between Sandwell Council and West Midlands Police, with months of preparatory work resulting in over 200 exhibits being presented at the original court hearing.

"This extension provides 
business owners, residents and general members of the public with the reassurance they will no longer be subjected to the behaviour of this group.”   

Anyone caught breaking the injunction will be arrested by West Midlands Police, and could be imprisoned, fined and have their assets seized.

Any breaches of the injunction should be reported to the council or the police.

Below is the injunction order from today’s hearing before His Honour Judge McKenna at Birmingham High Court.

The Council and West Midlands Police have been successful in extending the original order and the injunction terms are as follows:

  • The First Defendant John Cassidy is forbidden whether by himself or by instructing or encouraging or permitting any other person from:
  • Using or threatening violence against any person in the Borough of Sandwell
  • Engaging in conduct causing or likely to cause a nuisance or annoyance to any person within the Borough of Sandwell;
  • Removing or damaging any padlock, lock, bolt or other means of securing any location within the Borough of Sandwell;
  • Entering the Borough of Sandwell.
  • This part of the order will remain in force until 6th June 2028 (10 years)

The Second to Fourteenth Defendants are forbidden whether by themselves or by instructing or encouraging or permitting any other person from:

  • Engaging in conduct causing or likely to cause a nuisance or annoyance to any person within the Borough of Sandwell;
  • Removing or damaging any padlock, lock, bolt or other means of securing any location within the Borough of Sandwell;
  • Depositing, leaving or dumping any rubbish, building materials, waste products or other refuse anywhere in the Borough of Sandwell;
  • Setting up an encampment anywhere within the Borough of Sandwell with the exception of the official transit site on condition that the Defendants abide by the terms and conditions of the transit site or with the express permission of the landowner;
  • Entering or occupying for residential purposes any land within the Borough of Sandwell with the exception of the official transit site or with the express permission of the landowner;
  • Entering or occupying any land within the Borough of Sandwell with vehicles other than to drive through the Borough of Sandwell without stopping otherwise than in the normal course of traffic or in an official car park or on the Claimant’s official transit site or with the express permission of the owner of the land.
  • This part of the order will remain in force until 6th June 2023 (5 years)

The Fifteenth Defendants (persons unknown) are forbidden whether by themselves or by instructing or encouraging or permitting any other person from:

  • Setting up an encampment anywhere within the Borough of Sandwell with the exception of the official transit site or with the express permission of the landowner;
  • Entering or attempting to enter or occupying or attempting to occupy for residential purposes any land within the Borough of Sandwell with the exception of the official transit site or with the express permission of the landowner. 
  • This part of the order will remain in force until 6th June 2023 (5 years)

The First to Fourteenth Defendants shall pay the Claimant’s costs of this application summarily assessed in the sum of £15,640.50.

Defendants

  • JOHN CASSIDY (date of birth 30/11/72)MARY CASSIDY
  • JOHNNY CASSIDY
  • MARTIN CASSIDY
  • PATRICK CASSIDY (date of birth 26/06/77)
  • KATRINA CASSIDY
  • KATHLEEN CASSIDY
  • MARGARET CASSIDY
  • JERRY CASSIDY
  • JEREMIAH CASSIDY
  • EILEEN CASSIDY
  • ELIZABETH CASSIDY
  • WILLIAM CASSIDY
  • ANDREW CASSIDY SENIOR
  • PERSONS UNKNOWN