Testimonial

An account of the abuse of people living on boats on the waterways by the Canal and River Trust, previously British Waterways.   Then a Public Authority, now part Public Body, part Charity.   In receipt of public funds and public donations.  The account is based around the story of me and my boat Pearl, a converted Thomas Clayton tar boat built 1935.  It's not about me it's about them and their deliberate persecution of people, particularly 'vulnerable' people, who live on boats, and those who collude with them for their own selfish interests, and those authorities that allow them to get away with it.     

You don't have to live on a boat to find it alarming.    

6. The theft of my boat by CRT

The Theft of my Boat

They did not reply to my email and came to take my boat on the morning of April 2nd.  Bailiffs shouting, banging on my boat, threatening me if I didn't leave my boat. Accompanied by 'laughing policemen'. They thought it was hilarious. They were not there in a 'neutral capacity' they were ''in on the 'joke''.  They would, obviously, 'set me up', if I offered resistance.   I could not take the risk as I was looking after my mother who had come out of the hospital, and returned to the care home, the day before.   I could not risk being arrested and falsely accused of whatever they dreamed up. There was one person on a boat about 40 - 50 yards away and, otherwise, no witnesses. They wouldn't listen to my my assertions that I had arranged a mooring in accordance with an undertaking to the court CRT gave to the court so the court order should not be executed and, also, legally they could not remove me from my boat.   They threatened me with violence if I didn't leave my boat.  (Bailiffs, obviously ex military, using their 'training' to abuse and threaten people twice their age for no good reason.  Yes I know - they're only following orders).  

I removed a few possessions laptops, printer etc. (I had kept a lot of my stuff, including paperwork, in a lockup for some time as I didn't trust CRT and expected some kind of attack).   I, also, had a very distressed cat to look after.

My boat was taken off, pushed by a tug, by employees of Commercial Boat Services.    

(Later in the day I went to the Police Station to make a complaint about the theft of my boat in breach of the instruction of the court and after perverting the course of justice, perjury, abuse of process, etc. but was told it was a 'civil matter', a common response, and not able to get past the desk sergeant. (That's how they keep crime figures down.  They don't allow you to report a crime).

It is an absurdity that the conditions pertaining to the court order in the Judgment, such as an undertaking to the court - which has the same force as a court order, are not written on the court order.    This allows the police to say, 'We don't care what you say.  We've got a court order and there is no mention of any undertaking'.  And allows the unscrupulous solicitor, is  there any other kind in an adversarial process? - scruples do not exist in the consideration of law and are not required in the conduct of solicitors -  to ignore the conditions imposed by the court, execute the court order and thereby hugely inconvenience their 'victim' by seizing their home and their property. Their problem then is to get their home and property back.  

Shoosmiths like to seize people's property for the slightest reason such as charging orders on a house for a low level of debt (they do debt collection for banks), possession is nine tenths of the law.  They put you in a position where it is not possible to get your 'home' back and have to, somehow, survive without it and without your possessions.   If they could kill you they would, without a doubt. 

We, the individuals are the victims  (and prey), and are usually honest individuals defending their rights, as in my case, and, in so doing, defending the rights of others. They, the organisations and corporations (and public authorities), have become the predators, increasingly allowed to do whatever they want.   All part of the Abuse Culture that is the reality beneath the thinning veneer of the, supposed, rights of the individual.   

I found out that my boat had been taken to a local boatyard and was about to be craned out. I went to the boatyard to get some more of my possessions - bike etc.

Steven Holder, CRT Legal Department, was there.  I asked him how I could get my boat back as I didn't owe them any money. I could not settle a debt if there was no debt.  He said there were costs.  I said what costs. He said the costs of the removal of your boat. I said then let me have my boat back before more costs are incurred by craning it out of the water.  He said there are also court costs.  I said there was no order for costs.  He said they would apply to the court for costs.  I said they should have done that before they took my boat and I would have challenged the costs. (They had previously got an order, by deception, for costs which was revoked at the hearing on 28th January). He said he wasn't prepared to discuss it.

I said that the requirement for me to arrange a mooring to be allowed to remain on the canal had been fulfilled so why were they taking my boat.  He said I was on their water.  

This is what they did.  This is what they do.

Are these the reasonable actions of a public authority, with legal obligations relating to their exercising their authority in a way that is reasonable,  which, subsequently became a 'charity' and part public body (to avoid the obligations of a public authority), or any other organisation with a 'duty of care' to the many people who are in the domain of that authority?     

Sadly there are many people, in boat clubs and canal societies, who, for their own selfish reasons, encourage, and collude in, just this kind of abuse and would consider this violation a 'victory'. Their aim is to make everyone pay for a mooring whether they have one or not.   Their justification being 'It's not fair that they have to pay for a mooring and others don't'.   That is, actually, the argument put forward - and endorsed by the architect of the persecution policy, Sally Ash.  (Interestingly, and no coincidence, Sally Ash handed in her notice of resignation the day before they took my boat and the other person instrumental in the attack on me, Helen Waterman, left CRT the same week).         

I left and returned later, on someone else's boat, to get some more of my belongings.

I was left with the clothes I was wearing, not much else, and a distressed cat.  

And no home.

I stayed, that night, on someone's boat. 

I didn't realise that they were about to crane my boat onto a lorry and transport it to the Sharpness canal, 125 miles away, where it would, subsequently, sink. I was not told where my boat was for 6 weeks.  

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