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Rent or Kids
July 14, 2013 permalink
A British landlord has an updated version of "pay your rent or I will take your furniture." Now it's "pay your rent or I will take your children."
For the gallery mentioned in the text, refer to the source website.
PAY THE RENT – OR IT’S YOUR KIDS
A Cornish council worker threatened to set ‘social care’ – the department that fosters and adopts children – on the families of her tenants unless they paid her rents.
Danielle Curtis blackmailed a young father of two, his pregnant partner, and their housemate, also a full-time father, in a furious row over rent on her allegedly ‘rundown’ bungalow in Redruth, Cornwall.
The 33 year old from Helston branded her three hard working tenants ‘retards’ and stormed: “Pay the £300 today between you or I will start court, social care, and housing benefit.”
In another post the council worker threatened: “I can access exactly how much benefits you get. I work for Cornwall council. Pay up today else I will start court proceedings and it won’t be pleasant. Pay £300 today and I will leave you alone.”
‘Social Care’ is the name the council give to the department that takes children from their parents, sells them for fostering or gives them up for adoption.
Danielle works in that division. Although her tenants claim she boasted of being a ‘senior social worker’ she’s said to work in a relatively minor administrative role.
CCN has seen Danielle’s Facebook messages to her tenants in full and is publishing the key exchanges (see above).
In the sickening notes she brags that ‘a policeman would laugh’ if any of them dared to complain she was abusing her council post, by checking on their benefit payments and informing on them and their families to ‘social care’.
In one PM she tells father of two Ian: “Fine – court, housing benefit, and contacting social care it is. Remember you chose the hard way.”
And again in a final message before refusing to answer Ian’s repeated questions as to why she is invoking ‘social care’ in a personal dispute over rent payments she posts: “Pay the £300 today between you or it goes back to the full amount and I will start court, social care, and housing benefit. Pay or that’s it.”
Ian told CCN: “We couldn’t believe it when she threatened our children. I just couldn’t believe it. When I thought of my little boy and girl…it was unbelievable.
“None of us have ever had anything to do with social services or ‘social care’. Neither Kerry or I claim housing benefit.
“It was absolutely shocking. Danielle was clearly threatening to send social services after our children unless we paid our rent.
“I think she’s evil. Mentally ill. There’s no other word for it.”
The 26 year old customer service advisor went on “I have two young children aged 5 and 2. I am an exceptionally caring Father. Neither I or my ex has ever involved the authorities in anything to do with what we rightly regard as our personal family lives.
“Nor as far as I’m aware has any one else ever contacted any ‘social care’ authorities about any of the three of us or any of our children, nor would they have cause to.
“We’re very independent people, and we both work hard in our jobs. I love my children dearly and Kerry is a very sensible mother to be.
“Our council worker landladys threat against our families was totally out of the blue and terrifying and shocking in equal measure.
“Up to then she had just harrassed and bullied us, while making boasts of being a ‘senior social worker’. But when she threatened to set ‘social care’ on us – I was mortified – I kept asking her what she meant, but she kept just repeating the threat.
“I find it astonishing, and terrifying, that people like that are trusted with children, trusted by the public to interfere with vulnerable families and take children from their homes.
“My partner Kerry is in a state of severe distress since Danielle made these threats to us. I just hope she will be okay through her pregnancy.
“Danielle Curtis is clearly not fit to hold any position of power. The council must do what the police force would if a landlady police officer threatened to arrest someone for not paying her her rent. People like that are not fit to hold any official post.
“You have to wonder, and worry, about what sort of person is working in Cornwall’s childrens social services.
“If a council worker feels they can threaten the children of a tenant in a row over money outside of work – what harm are they doing to vulnerable families they come into contact with professionally?”
Danielle, Kerry and Lee’s landlady nightmare began when they met Danielle as she moonlighted in the evenings for a legal firm in Pool Innovation Centre by Heartlands. The company sell financial advice.
When the pals got together and decided to split rent on a home, Danielle mentioned her £800 a month excluding bills bungalow in South Downs.
The friends stumped up a £500 deposit and started paying the rent and bills three ways. But they had trouble with their landlady over late repairs, a leaking roof, and poor conditions from the outset.
Ian recalled: “We let the house in April. Every time it rained the water poured over the front and back doors because the guttering wasn’t done. The front door had no handle.
“There was a built in fridge freezer – that didn’t work. She said it would be done within a couple of weeks, it wasn’t done. The bath leaked. She never sorted that out.
“The sink in the bathroom was blocked and would fill up – the roof leaked. It took her three-four weeks to do that and I had to go on all the time. It was an absolute pain.
“She kept saying she was going to sort that out – it’s still not done now.
“I was taking days off to meet builders who didn’t turn up; then one day a rat appeared in the back garden, something we couldn’t afford to deal with and which Danielle wouldn’t – it all just got to a point where nothing was getting fixed and we were paying all this rent.
“We always paid scrupulously – then one month, I was £100 behind; from that day on, each week before the end of the month, she would be on to us demanding the rent and threatening legal action.
“Frankly Danielle made it very difficult for us to stay. But she wouldn’t allow us to leave when I tried to give notice – she claimed we were bound by our six month tenancy. So in the end we took the decision ourselves.
“My girlfriend and her Mum went up there cleaned the place top to bottom.Then we approached Danielle with a fait accompli.
“We said we’d left – so she turned round and said she wanted £2,400. We disputed this – so she changed her story again and said – alright – as long as you give us three hundred quid.
“She said we had lost the £500 deposit because we had left before the end of the six months.”
“It was at this point she said if we didn’t give up the deposit and pay the extra £300 there would be ‘consequences’. She sent us messages saying she would go to court, contact housing benefit and approach social care.
“I just couldn’t believe it when she wrote that she would approach ‘social care’. What did she mean?
“She also emailed Lee and said she would use the council computers to find out how much benefit he was getting – it’s a ridiculous open abuse of power. She didn’t seem to think twice about it.”
Here’s the full transcript of the corrupt social workers threats. The screenshots are in the gallery above.
I need it as soon as possible and to know your decision about the rent idea – if I get the £300 ASAP then we shall leave it there if not I will start court
ok will get bk to you asap
Thanks please do
£300 needs to be paid otherwise I will be forced to start court proceedings.
The back door key needs to be returned.
The wardrobe, bed and chair will be disposed of tomorrow if you don’t collect it by lunchtime tomorrow
the back door key is in the black letter box as wasnt sure where to put it
Thanks for the key. So we doing £300 or not as if not I will start court stuff tomorrow?
ive spoken to lee and you are threatening usl with black mail thats the final straw as far as im concerned take us to court and i will seek legal advise i would also like all contact stopped from you unless through a soliceter if this doesnt happen i will report you for harasment
No not threatening at all you need to pay or I will start the court proceedings. Report me for harassment as a policeman would laugh because I have every right to contact regarding my money if you do not pay I will take it to court good luck with that sort it out or not the choice is yours
yh you have that right but not threatening to use ur position as a socail worker to get information for ur own benifit which we have proof of in messages
Nope I’m talking about housing benefit you retard which I am entitled to know about as its fraud that its not been paid. Bottom line pay the £300 which is more than fair and we will have no more contact again. If you don’t do it today I will start the court proceedings and provide evidence of the state the house has been left in its simple? If you’re not going to pay its fine It will just cost you all in the long run a hell of a lot more it’s you that are in the wrong and the law unfortunately doesn’t let people get away with it. Your choice?
hahahha resorted to name calling now fine take us to court also can i have the referance number for the goverment scheme you put the deposit in as my soliceter said if you havent put it in one then the tenency would be void anyway
Are you actually joking me??? Fine court housing benefit and contacting social care it is. Remember you chose the hard way in this long and expensive process now. I’ve tried to give you your deposit back as am saying you only need to pay £300 for julys rent and that I would take this as your months notice but no you couldn’t accept my generosity and pay me my money. You are both very silly. If the money isn’t in my account by today then you leave me no choice
what are you saying about socail care what that got to do with anything
Just pay you money and the condition of the house and court and everything else will be dropped
im still confused about the socail care situation as that got nothing to do with anything
I’m still confused at the state you’ve left my house in and you not paying your rent pay the £300 if you don’t you know the consequences
would like you to explain what you ment by contacting social care
Would you like to explain to me why you haven’t paid your rent and left my house in a mess and a half!!! Just bloody pay and I won’t take this any further.
take it as far as you want i think i have a good case of my own danielle what do you mean by your going to get in contact with social care
Just pay and I will never bother you or go down the legal route
no as ive spoken to c.a.b and you havent got a leg to stand on since you didnt protect our deposit
Your deposit is completely irrelevant but I did anyway as it was through a company. You lost your deposit because you’ve not paid your rent, broken your tenancy, and caused mess and damage to the property – all three counts you have no leg to stand on now just for the love of god pay and then we can be done. That’s more than fair and then technically I’m giving your deposit back anyway! This isn’t rocket science just pay
can i have the company name and reference number then
Can I have my rent then??? Seriously! Why would I give you anything after what you have done to me. Pay the £300 today between you or it goes back to the full amount and I will start court, social care, and housing benefit. Pay or that’s it. I won’t be replying anymore if the money is not there by today that will be what will happen. End of.
what you mean social care ??????
I’m not replying anymore until I get my money”
In the messages to young Dad Lee Hole she says:
I can access exactly how much benefits you get I work for Cornwall council and I know you’ve had your housing benefit and not paid me. You need to speak to Ian and all pay up today else I will start court proceedings and it won’t be pleasant and will cost u loads in the long run. Pay £300 today and I will leave you alone
It wont be today danielle! Ive not really spoken to ian or kerry since the weekend, and if u have checked on your little system, you will no for a fact that none of keiras benefits are in my name as of yet! Im speaking to my solicitor today as im sure your not allowed to look at my information for your own benefit!
I’ve not looked just saying I can its not about Kiera’s benefits its about my housing benefit and they tell me that anyway. It’s fraud! There’s no reason it can’t be today and if its not I will start the court process. No I can contact them you need to sort it today else I will get your housing benefit stopped and paid to me for the full amount from now for how much you really owe me.”
CCN sent the Portfolio Holder for ‘Children and Young People’, Cllr Andrew Wallis, a detailed query on this story as soon as it broke.
He replied: “At present I cannot comment until the claims have been investigated. I am sure you understand why.”
We messaged back: “I’m afraid we don’t understand why, neither will our readers, please could you briefly explain for them.”
When we phoned Danielle she first denied threatening Ian and his family, but then said she had used the words ‘social care’.
She then refused to answer the question as to why she ever mentioned ‘social care’ and referred us to a closed solicitors office before putting the phone down.
Here’s a full audio recording of the conversation.
local copy (mp3).
Campaigning MP John Hemming, who fights Social Services corruption, said: “Sadly vindictive behaviour from some of the employees of Childrens Services is quite common.
“Parents can lose their children to adoption on the basis of false allegations. The council should investigate the behaviour of this employee, but I won’t hold my breath waiting for this to happen.”
We’ve forwarded screenshots of Danielle’s threats to Devon and Cornwall police, and to the council.
If you’ve been a victim of Cornwall’s notoriously corrupt Social Services department we will publish your story. Contact us.
Source: Cornwall Community News