Homeless Man Prevented From Squatting Dies

We are gutted to bring the extremely sad news that media reports suggest that homeless man Daniel Gauntlett is the first known person to die because of the new squatting law brought in last September which criminalised squatting in residential properties.

There may be more people who have been affected in this way but he is the only person we know of for sure. He passed away last Saturday. The news comes exactly 6 months after the introduction of the new law.

Daniel Gauntlett tried to find shelter in a boarded up empty bungalow, a residential property under the new offence, but was reportedly prevented in doing so by the Police who could have been acting on Section 144. Whether the police action was a direct result of s144 or not, the sad fact remains unchanged: had Daniel been allowed to shelter himself at no harm to anyone, he would probably be still alive.

A local resident commented:

“He was a very nice man apparently. He used to ask for money but not for drink. He used to buy pasties from the supermarket. It was so sad. Especially when the houses are empty.”

SQUASH are pushing forward with our campaign calling for a repeal of the new law. Our new report, entitled “The Case Against Section 144” will be launched on Monday. It will show how homeless and vulnerable people are being disproportionately affected by the new law with zero arrests so far for someone squatting someone else’s home – as predicted by hundreds of legal experts including The Law Society.

Please have a read once it goes live on the website Monday morning, share it around and use #repeals144 on twitter to prevent stories like this one.

The Full article on Kent Online can be read here: http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kent_messenger/news/2013/february/28/frozen_man.aspx