Friday, 25 September 2015

'I was treated better by the Nazis' - War hero threatened with EVICTION by council

War hero Richard Lawson was subjected to the brutality of Hitler's henchmen during his time in a Nazi PoW camp, but says even they showed more understanding and compassion than his local authority.
The fragile 91-year-old flew into a panic after receiving a threatening letter from bureaucrats threatening to boot him out of his home of 20 years over just six weeks of unpaid rent.
The grandfather-of-three was so terrified by the bullying notice that he tried to dash down to his local Post Office to pay up, but collapsed on the way due to stress.

He had to be rushed to hospital by kind-hearted strangers after fainting whilst waiting to be served.
Recovering at home, the furious veteran said: "The Germans were horrible but they treated me better than the council did.
"This has been a hell of a business, the council haven't been very helpful."
The war hero was a private in the British army and was captured by the Nazis in 1944 after the bloody Battle of Monte Cassino, south of Rome, during which 55,000 allied troops died.
He has lived in the same council flat in Croydon, south London, for 20 years and described his horror at receiving the letter threatening to turf him out of his home.
He said: "I went in to pay the money and there were a couple of people waiting to be seen.
Mr Lawson was a prisoner of war in a Nazi camp
The Germans were horrible but they treated me better than the council did
Richard Lawson
"Before I got to the counter I must have felt unwell and just went. They sent the ambulance and took me to hospital. I suppose I was upset, I shouldn't have been."
Councillors have now apologised and vowed to improve their IT system so vulnerable tenants aren't sent threatening automatically-generated letters again.
A spokesman for Croydon Council said: "Mr Lawson received an automatically generated letter because his rent was six weeks overdue.
"As soon as we realised that this had gone out, we rang early on Friday afternoon to reassure him that he would not be evicted and we wanted to help.
"We visited on Monday afternoon to offer a range of support to assist in future.
"We're improving our data and systems to help tenants in difficulty even sooner so people like Mr Lawson are less likely to get automatically generated arrears letters in future."



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