Bar-fight Ashfield pensioner to fight ‘all the way’ in court

Dennis and Doris Buckley of Willow Crescent with the burglar bars that are on their Willow Crescent home.
Dennis and Doris Buckley of Willow Crescent with the burglar bars that are on their Willow Crescent home.

A pensioner who is refusing to remove security bars from his council has said he will fight ‘all the way’ after being forced to appear in court .

Dennis Buckley, 81, was summoned to appear at Mansfield’s magistrates on Wednesday over the steel railings, which Ashfield Homes have ordered that he remove.

The anti-burglary bars have been in place at the Willow Court property for almost 20 years, but more recently a housing inspector claimed they were a fire hazard and needed to be taken down.

Mr Buckley insists they can removed ‘within seconds’ and said they have never had an issue with them in the past.

Ashfield Homes claims he had breached his tenancy agreement and said they would work with Mr Buckley to ensure the matter was ‘satisfactorily resolved’.

But Mr Buckley was then sent a letter, telling him to appear at the court house on Wednesday, May 11.

The case has since been put back until either August or September, but Mr Buckley is remaining defiant.

He told the Chad: “I’m definitely not going to take these bars down myself, there’s no reason for it.

“It’s ridiculous that it’s got this far, everybody who I’ve spoken with has said it’s ridiculous as well.

“I will fight this all the way.

“This is not a criminal matter, it’s a civil case, so the worst that can happen is they come and take these bars down.”

Mr Buckley and his wife Lo Wai, 68, moved into the property in 1997 and installed the bars shortly after.

Up until last year, the bars had never been an issue.

A risk assessment carried out by an Ashfield Homes inspector in April 2015 found no problems.

But following a further visit months later, he was ordered to take them down.

Nicky Moss, senior operations manager at Ashfield Homes said: “We have been engaging with Mr Buckley in an attempt to resolve the matter surrounding the placing of iron railings.

“We consider the type of railings, and the manner in which they have been installed presents a serious risk.

“We have not, and would not grant permission for such iron railings to be installed into any of the homes we manage.

“In respect of all homes we manage, tenants are required to seek our written consent for any installation of this kind.

“Unfortunately, Mr Buckley has not requested or received our consent and as a result of our inability to agree the way forward, the courts are resolving the matter.”