Homeless Man Dies of Cold Just Inches From Shelter After Squatting Ban

empty-bungalowIn a tragic story which fell largely by the wayside, a homeless man died of hypothermia earlier this year after sleeping in the doorway of an abandoned building in Aylesbury, Kent.

Daniel Gauntlett was just 35 years old when he was found dead outside the empty bungalow at the end of February.  Reports claim he had previously attempted to sleep inside the boarded up property but had been prevented after police were called.  The  bungalow was due to be bulldozed.

Some housing campaigners have laid the blame for his death directly at the feet of Mike Weatherley, the Tory MP who proposed the legislation which makes squatting in any residential property a criminal offence.  It is not just Weatherley who has blood on his hands.  Almost every Labour MP also voted for the new laws which were not only built on lies but removed an ancient and historic legal right.

Dishonest MPs claimed the new legislation was to prevent squatters taking over properties whilst people went on holiday following a string of lurid stories in the right wing press.  In truth there were already more than adequate laws to prevent this from taking place.  A letter recently published by The Guardian and signed by 40 top lawyers claims that of the 33 known arrests so far not a single one has been due to someone being displaced from their home by squatters.  At least 3 homeless people are known to have been jailed under the new laws.

Every measure of homelessness has risen since this Government weren’t elected – a situation that seems set to become far worse as rents soar, wages stagnate and housing benefits are slashed.  On top of this 660,000 people face homelessness and destitution due to the bedroom tax, whilst George Osborne wants to sell off even more council houses.

This is far from the first and nor will it be the last death as a direct result of this vile Coalition’s policies, many of which seem to be based on panicky responses to tabloid lies.  It seems that the only people gullible enough to believe everything they read in the Daily Mail are now running the country.

Not content with one death due to his legislation Mike Weatherley(@mike_weatherley) is now attempting to have squatting banned in abandoned commercial premises as well. For now this is still legal.  Visit the Advisory Service for Squatter’s website for information, advice and support or SQUASH to keep up with the campaign to get the law repealed.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

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104 responses to “Homeless Man Dies of Cold Just Inches From Shelter After Squatting Ban

  1. what a terrible indictment of britain 2013…R.I.P….why we fight…

  2. I believe homeless people should be accommodated the same as the influx of Romanians ang Bulgarians will be next year, put up in 3k a week hotels!

    • Many councils are putting homeless people up in B&Bs or hotels, at great expense, however being homeless is a culmination of many things. Some people can’t cope with living in a B&B. Often B&Bs and shelters are not safe and riddled with drugs. There are so many reasons why a person ends up sleeping rough.
      This article highlights the simple idea that this man may have survived if he was ALLOWED TO SQUAT this empty, and ironically soon to be demolished, building.

      • @shazzabo theres a moving comment from this guys relative i posted here..

      • I took care of a homeless B&B in Edinburgh for a bit under a year and a half, and it was a shite load of work, The owner was a rich bitch who tried to act like she cared, but the patrons knew I really did, they also knew I was mistreated and underpaid. I had my moments though. But left UK again shortly afterwards, its very sad what has happened to this man, and there is no way council can get around this. They have robbed him of his life. They should be punished, government should be hung, all these filthy bastards who dare say they help us while they fuck us all !!!

  3. @David Baker – link to evidence that Romanians and Bulgarians will be “put up in 3k a week hotels!”?

    • @Codeword do you really think evidence is needed? All you have to do is know this government, fat cat private landlords too will have free reign to charge extortionate rents and this will be covered by OUR welfare system, that’s why UK residents have been hammered to pay for this event!

  4. So under occupancy in social housing is tackled by financial punishment for the home owner with an “unused” bedroom. Meanwhile squatters who inhabit unused houses are criminalised and the owners of empty property are protected. Just another example of how IDS reforms were nothing more than an ideological attack on the working poor and welfare state.

    • United StereoTypes of Unemployment (U.S.T.U.)

      Wow. Brutal but true. No matter how the State, media & others perceive it, you’ve written it as it is.

      Aquire & secure theirs. Tax & share yours.

      Invasion incoming!

  5. and westminster council banned anyone from feeding the homeless..such nice guys arent they? you know westminster council dont you? homes for votes scandal , lady porter and all that they boarded up homes and evicted people because they didnt want ‘poor people’ in their borough..nothing changes do it?

  6. Rosemarie Harris

    What a horrible way to die,If someone needs to find somewhere to occupy then use the empty building worry about the court case later. Get shelter in to repersent you then get it out into the press ,when you are due in court and get a group outside to protest against what they are doing to you. If the worse comes to the worse you get a prison bed.
    This is wrong a person dies because of a lack of shelter and yet there is a place he could have used. We need to start giving tents to the homeless at least they would have somewhere to live and help keep themselves alive.
    Yes i know we should not have to do this, but we should do something positive just to remember that this man could have been anyone of us.
    It dosen’t take much to make us homeless.
    Is there a Appeal we could give a few pounds to?

    • @rosemarie just watch out for ‘feckless idle scrounger’ brought this on himself if he had bothered to find work…let me know if that shit shows up on tweets..

    • Shelter would be your best bet for donations IMHO

    • United StereoTypes of Unemployment (U.S.T.U.)

      Many homeless people with internet access then, huh? :-D

      Here’s an idea, & we can do it together.

      Small cards

      “Do what you have to do but cause no damage and do no harm” on one side. “2013 is your evolution!” on the other.

      1 thousand of them, and give it to the homeless & any body else that you see in a State induced struggle.

      Tell them to look up the meaning of the words written on the card. Then wish them success and the patience to walk the path to independence.

      Each individual has to wake up, & get out of the comfort zone.

      No matter what happens with this Coalition, people from -9mths to over 100 have suffered a serious setback.

      Trusted in the State, huh? It’s okay, it’s what we are taught.

      Be positive, don’t let them move you. Some how we will find an answer. Quickly.

  7. I remember Chunky Mark the artist taxi driver on Youtube mentioned this. What a sad state of affairs and much more of this to come I fear. What kind of a country has this become?

  8. What kind of a country has this become?

    It is Ing-gal-land. For da Ings, innt?

    • The kind of country where people vote for rich fascist parties but thankfully don’t get a majority so are slightly hobbled by the Lib-dem’s but not enough if you ask me, they are still more worried about getting back the voters they betrayed when they decided to get into bed with the Tories in order to taste power in the only way they were ever likely to do so.

      Whilst there are many younger people here I’m sure there are those who are old enough to remember the times of three day week and power cuts to name just two events in history… in my opinion I feel closer to those days now than expecting in the 21st century to be seeing an intelligent balanced government in step with the times, yes! having to make big decisions but not by completely cutting away large portions of our society.

      It goes without saying if you treat people like animals they will end up behaving like animals… resorting to those base instincts for survival and that does cover a large number of scenarios. In the end this coalition will fall, the only sad part about it will be the fact we must endure the slow social breakdown and the erosion of the qualities that once put the “Great” in Britain and the “United” in Kingdom.

      A man or a woman dies from the cold in the streets, it could be you, it could be me, it could be anyone one of us given a terrible turn of circumstances that leads us to such a scenario, who this man was is not important to most people.. they are sad to read it, they may even pass a few opinionated comments as to why he was in that position but the reality is he was not the first and he will not be the last.

      Sometimes there is a catalyst which triggers in the hearts and minds of people, the kind of responses that lead to events so unpredictable that when they take place people end up shocked as to why it happened. We cannot stress enough the Tories must pull right back on the direction they head as this is not only going to divide the country, if it continues well into the next election and for some insane reason they get another term… I fear we could be heading towards the closest thing to a civil war.

      This coalition is repressive, it veers towards fascist policies and tries to induce insecurity, anger and resentments amongst the citizens who have nothing in common with them and yet it’s agenda is to divide society and create a climate of hatred based around old fashioned propaganda and stupid spontaneous rhetoric. There is nothing new about the Tories in 2013 than all those years ago… same Tories same agenda but with another generation of hardliners wanting make their name in political history for all the wrong reasons, and nothing to do with those who live in the real world and not in ivory towers.

      In the end the talking will stop the high impact protests will begin, yes the anarchists will try and hijack the situation and then the government will simply say.. “Look!… this is the true face of society we seek to defeat, a culture built on the back of a bloated welfare state fuelled by booze and drugs and going nowhere”, the papers are already dropping it into stories, at least those who support Tory ideals.. even with the evil Philpott case they could not help themselves.. this is what the opposition to this nasty vindictive and cruelly unjust coalition must understand and face.

      It’s important to remember the brain is mightier than the fist, violence and destruction of one’s neighbourhood as was evident across the country after the Duggan shooting in Tottenham only destroys the validity of protest against things, in that case the shooting was the catalyst but certainly not the sole reason for what happened, it was never the answer and time has proven that to be the case as nothing really changed, but people who were in the same boat suffered and nobody who people might have been angry towards really suffered.

      There are many anarchists out there trawling different sites and wanting to just do bad things for no other reason than the angst in their heads and this desire to be mindlessly violent and destroy… we don’t need that, the coalition is doing it on a political level and the only way to confront that is with organised legal protest where nobody gets hurt but actions of those in authority blunder in and show themselves for what they are along with their political selfish agenda’s that has little to do with the welfare of the country or the people who have to live by their insane policies.

  9. @JOHNNY VOID seems this poor guy was the second one to die like that in that area.. he abided the law it says…

    http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kent_messenger/news/2013/february/28/frozen_man.aspx

    • something survived...

      A guy near where I live froze to death the other week in very similar circumstances, it was in the papers

  10. Err, yes, i really DO want evidence of this utter tripe

  11. i just found this comment on this poor bloke from a relative of his..

    ” your all sick. this man was my step dad and he was for a very long time you know nothing about him and i think your all disgraceful for commenting on a situation that you know absolutely nothing about. we all loved that man to pieces and he knew that but there were mistakes he made that were not very forgivable. none of you knew that man like i did! your all out of order because none of us gave up on him he knew where we were he just had a lot of pride and would never ask for help. it broke my heart the day he died and wether any of you agree or not we will be there tomorrow saying goodbye to him because WE DO MISS HIM AND WE DO LOVE HIM, he just never gave us the chance to help he although we tried our hardest. he was never a nasty man and he would have done anything for anyone the way he did with me when i was young and when i was ill and i was scared he was there! he just had a lot of pride and was unable to ask for help and wouldnt let us help him and then it became to late and now he dead. so i would appreciate it if you stopped commenting on things that you will never understand.”

  12. “It seems that the only people gullible enough to believe everything they read in the Daily Mail are now running the country.”
    I wish that was true, have a look at the sort of stupid comments on this subject in my local paper. It looks to me like not only have the locals all been bought by murdoch but the people are swallowing it.
    http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/squatters-property-Gloucestershire/story-18577346-detail/story.html

    • @carina god knows why i bother to read this shit on gripe sites like this link..but when seen in contrast to this tragic event..

      “ps. before some pathetic scrounger says I am lucky to get a job and they can’t get one….. I was made redundant 4 years ago didn’t sign on spent all my 1500 savings from work on crap van and tools and started up gardening. the government do not make jobs people do you thickos make your own if you can’t get one. and I know there is loads of Shiite jobs low paid but just .fkin take it it’s a fkin job get some self respect and support your family. if none of the above is appealing then please die quietly without costing us Any more money.”

      Well FKface lots of people have..and hey guess what you are paying for it you moron !!!..

      • something survived...

        Yes they are a moron. I WAS a gardener (now you basically need a van). I don’t have a vehicle or driving licence or a place for storing tools, or the ability to use power tools. I did it on foot/bus till my health got too bad to continue, even in a voluntary capacity. Used manual tools and was self employed. Strangely enough I didn’t have any savings! And the main time when I did it, I was not entitled to any benefits not even UB. They didn’t let me sign on at that time.

        If a job is truly a SHITE job, as I think this person meant to say, then actually you could be showing self respect by NOT taking it. (Earlier today a housemate, the BNP one, who knows I’m a strict vegetarian, gave me a present of: a can of beef! He previously put it in a Hindu housemate’s stuff, to get him angry. Rather than throw it away I took it to the cathedral, and it is now the only donated item in the city’s foodbank – which has still never had any food for me. Same housemate used to put pork in the cupboards of previous Muslim housemates. I’ve found out about another foodbank half an hour away on the bus, but it is run by trussell trust and also you need to be referred, and I’ve nobody to refer me.)

        If you do a rubbish job and don’t lose it you could be stuck in it forever. After applying for 7000 jobs (stopped counting last year) I think the employers don’t want me. They want people who don’t think or question, and who are ablebodied and aged 16 so get the lowest pay. If you lose the job you get dole denied if you were fired or walked out, or if you lost it for being disabled. Also you get dole delayed after leaving a job, even if they think you have a valid claim. Therefore nothing to live on in between. At the same time as being pressured to take often a totally different job, with no money/time to retrain. And endless lists of McJobs.

        From how FKface writes it looks like they are the thicko.

        The problem with attitudes towards the unemployed, is the assumption that their lives are empty and worthless, and that they lack self esteem and self respect. That’s really insulting, to have that assumed about you based on your income/class/status. Possibly the concept of working in a dead end 9-5 job, however ‘well-paid’ or ‘high status’, sounds more like hell from our perspective. There are plenty of pointless, boring, ‘filler’ jobs that pay five or six figure salaries.

        Of course if FKface wanted a Shi’ite job, then the best place to apply for it would be Iran. (More women are scientists there than compared to women scientists in the UK)

      • No offense Bob, but you have this totally wrong mate! I live in Peterborough and work in one of the largest companies in the city. I have a lot of friends who lost their jobs and are unable to find work. There are NO LOW PAID JOBS HERE! If you walk into an agency as an English bloke/women you will be told “no work, sorry” and that is a fact. If you are Foreign you will be given work but you will be lucky if you work more than 3 days a week (very lucky!) to get work or keep work even if you are a temp is very hard.

        I’m not saying this as a person against foreigners as my wife is Latvian. I know this as fact as I’ve been with my friends when they have been into agencies, asked for work only to be told “no work” then a foreigner walks in after only to be offered a job. I know this because I can speak Russian,, Latvian and Polish and listened to it happen more then four times.

        I’m one of the people who lost his job a few times and within a month had a knew one. I have friends who are more qualified and better at talking to people than I am, also with more experience and have been out of work for over six months (not because they are lazy either!) I just class myself as lucky, nothing more. It doesn’t make people “thickos” or “morons” they are just fighting in a extremely over saturated jobs market.

        Have you been to an agency recently after low paid work and saw what they say to English people? You would be shocked..

        I’m not even going to mention your boast of setting up your business, you should use your brain and think before writing retarded comments.

        P.S. I’m a Factory Manager not a gardener, I’m English and I live in the real world.
        You sir need to come back to earth ;)

        • @ross i think you will see that i was commenting on the idiots who write that pile of crap on gripe sites in this case ”sick of scroungers’..facebook page…bollocks..

  13. Off topic I know, but it now looks that “benefit claimant = criminal” is the new mantra – http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/osborne-calls-for-debate-over-philpott-case-8560138.html

  14. @kittycat benefit claimant=criminal .corps tax evader=ppl who dont want to burden our complicated tax system..

  15. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/david-cameron-easter-egg-face-1795636

    Christian? David Cameron’s crusade is nothing but cruel
    1 Apr 2013 00:00

    Pontius Cameron’s unable to wash his stained hands of responsibility when the ConDem war on the ­disabled and hard-up families is a deliberate goal of this contemptible Child of Thatcher

    • ‘Christian? David Cameron’s crusade is nothing but cruel’

      In Cameron’s Britain, Jesus would be in prison for squatting.

  16. Just like to say Osbourne, using Mick Phillpot as a welfare scapegoat is your lowest nasty tactic to date. Phillpot made it clear he didn’t want to work just as countless millions don’t want to be on welfare you sanctimonious twat! How fucking dare you?

    • Using the tragic deaths of six children Osbourne to make a welfare statement is beyond humanity you horrible excuse of a man!

  17. UK going back to Victorian era

    Soon be illegal to sleep in the streets soon the way things are going

  18. BREAKING NEWS: picture on front page of Daily Mirror tomorrow showing George Osborne parking in a disabled space.

  19. Roger Jenkins

    Sadly George Osborne has a point. Mick Philpott is not the only piece of vermin who thought he was entitled to a life on benefits; this mentality leads to the sort of thinking typified by him. It was fitting that he was sent down by a woman judge! I worry that some of the comments I see on this site suggest that there are a lot more Philpotts out there

    • United StereoTypes of Unemployment (U.S.T.U.)

      There are a lot of all types of people on benefit, Roger.

      & can we not turn Philpott into a ‘Philpott’. The guy copied crap that he’s seen on tv soap, evening tv soap. It didn’t work like everything shown on tele. He represents himself. Not me, not you, nor our friends or our enemies. He. Is. Himself.

      Why create a media nickname? Because mud sticks better. Duh..

      • @UNITED freezing to death is a lifestyle choice
        murdering children is a lifestyle choice
        being sick is a lifestyle choice
        being old is a lifestyle choice
        no , being a tory mp with no fucking clue on reality is.

    • Anomie shrugs

      The politicisation of criminality now that is a dangerous road to go down.

      The status of the poor and welfare recipients in society to be no more than that of a convicted criminal.

      The battle for welfare has been lost the next battleground is for sustainable liberty.

    • Roger Jenkins – I am sorry you feel that way. I am on benefits. I have always done my best to help others, often working for nothing. I am quite sure that people on this site who sound off are not arsonists and child killers.

  20. I receive £71 a week Jobseekers Allowance as a single claimant, this is how much the government says I need to live on BY LAW. This was before local councils decided I need to now start paying a proportion of my allowance on council tax, this means around £2.50 a week has to be found out of my allowance. Subsequently I now have £68.50 a week to live on, my energy bills weekly at present are £30 a week, water bill £10 a week, TV licence £6 a week, essential mobile phone for job searching £5 a week, so for food, toiletries, cleaning agents, footwear and clothing I have £17.50 to cover it all, please don’t tell me its good to he on benefits, I have no life and I am desperate to secure a job but the last one I was lucky enough to make it to the interview stage, the employer told me there had been over 300 applicants for one post, that’s how hard it is to find work.

    • At this present time I have constant thoughts of being better off dead, is that any way to exist? 58 years old and on the scrapheap, oh yeah it’s a real joy IDS.

  21. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/george-osborne-parks-disabled-bay-1812379
    George Osborne staff parks his car in a DISABLED BAY He denies all knowledge it seems

  22. I lost my job, went on jobseekers, they wouldnt allow me benifit for about 3 months, then when they gave it to me, it only lasted 2 weeks before they decided my sanction was not long enough…. So another 3 months of nothing.
    I found out later last years ( too late ) I could have had hardship payments as I have 2 kids, and wife. we have no savings, no money in bank, we were lucky to have housing benifit.

    the company got rid of 4 people, 2 weeks later they got 4 people to replace us 4……. Guess what? The 4 new people where on workfare, working for free.

    My paid job was replaced by a bunch of free workers, as I understand if they refused, they would also loose theyre money.

    Now, Is this a trend?? Because my company was not advertising for staff, but they must have asked the jobcentre for staff?? I dont understand how this happened. I have been trying to get to the bottom of it, but Nobody will talk to me anymore, Im asking too many questions!.

    Now, Im labeled ‘scum’ for being jobless. although I done nothing wrong and was replaced by free workfare workers, How am I scum…… But the new people now doing my job are also jobseekers….. But they are working so there not scum. How is this MY fault??

    I blame conservatives, Ian duncan smith, david cameron and workfare.

    I am not scum, My children dont think Im scum and my wife loves me, So anyone who dares label me as that, will have a bloody fight on theyre hands. I see where this class war is heading and its not pretty!

    Either we need a NO CONFIDENCE VOTE, or we have a NO CONFIDENCE VOTE SOONER!!

    I dont know whats worse, The fact that I lost my job to a slave, or the fact I might, Some day…… Go to my old place of work, as a slave myself! When I was actually paid last time :(

    • The solution is easy you Tory Bastards, employ the long term unemployed yourselves, give them their pride back, or is that too sensible for you?

      • Skivvy, Maid, Butler, Nanny, Chauffeur, Gardener, even for your taxpayer funded second or third homes, and I think they will even be prepared to work for minimum wage.

    • United StereoTypes of Unemployment (U.S.T.U.)

      Paid workers were first replaced with temps, then Labour introduced New Deal.

      Careers Service offered young naive school leavers full-time hours for a pittance £45 per week.

      Think back to your youth, & ask your community to think back. We all had ambitions at some point. Working 45 hours for a non negotiable £45 per week (paid monthly! 1995), while Permanent staff enjoyed £800-1k per month definately woke me up.

      I hear the premise got robbed clean. I don’t condone it, but karma is a force that demands respect for the spirituly correct.

      Woosa :-D

  23. Pingback: Homeless Man Dies of Cold Just Inches From Shelter After Squatting Ban | showmethemoneytbone

  24. Pingback: Homeless Man Dies of Cold Just Inches From Shelter After Squatting Ban | Parental Responsibility | Scoop.it

  25. if your homeless may i suggest you find that mp’s own home, not his tax payer funded 2nd home, and smash it up,, at least then youll end up in a warm prison cell with 3 meals a day, ok its prison, not a brilliant option, but its got to be better than freezing to death on a street..
    i would suggest, if your homeless, then basically you have nothing to lose, so in that way any law is irrelevant.. if your going to break the law…. do it in style…

  26. disabled is a lifestyle choice MP says this ” Hunting: I would vote to repeal the ban on hunting”
    at the top of his page it says “Straight talking common sense”

    http://davidnuttall.info/davids-views/

  27. more from ‘straight talking commonsense disability is a lifestyle choice David Nuttall MP
    hes joined esther mcvey werkin class tories fan club..

    “As someone who came from what was a typically Northern working class background I firmly believe that there are many misconceptions about the Conservative Party only been for the rich and well off. I believe that nothing could be further from the truth. The Conservative Party is at its best when it is setting out a clear vision how people can improve their position through hard work with the Government taking less of their hard earned money.”
    AND:
    “Businesses need confidence to invest and continue to recruit more new employees. By continuing to reduce the rate of corporation tax down to a single rate of 20% and by cutting Employers National Insurance Contributions by £2,000 plus a raft of other measures businesses will know that Government is on their side”

    SO MR NUTTALL whose side are YOU on?

  28. HOW THE WORK EXPERIENCE PROGRAM CAN BENEFIT YOUR STORE
    would 750 hours with no payroll costs help YOUR store?

    http://tompride.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/oops-homebase-let-cat-out-of-the-bag-about-using-workfare-to-reduce-wage-bills/#comment-21090

  29. Chewie

    To reduce all of these business costs they are reducing welfare, therefore the unemployed are paying businesses to employ them, only some are left sanctioned with no job and their stolen benefits going to business or the wp poverty pimps.

  30. All MP’s homes with spare rooms should be let out free to the homeless, they effectively are on the best Housing Benefit we can pay for, so about time they started showing some social responsibility and looking after the people of this country.

  31. Didn’t some tory bright spark come out with the comment once that ” the homeless are those people you step over when coming out from the opera”?

  32. Anomie shrugs

    David Cameron has backed Chancellor George Osborne after he suggested a link between the Mick Philpott case and the need for welfare reform.

  33. The Spider Family

    We are told not to throw household spider outside because they won’t survive one night. Well, the same goes for human beings – throwing a human being onto the street is a DEATH SENTENCE – death by hypothermia, expect that the jobcentre “decision maker” doesn’t don a black cap and pronounce that: “you will be sanctioned and hence taken from the home whence you came and taken to the gutter where you will lie and freeze UNTIL YOU ARE DEAD! And may the Lord have Mercy on Your Soul!”

  34. United StereoTypes of Unemployment (U.S.T.U.)

    Lee Halping, 27.

    A film maker who aimed to sleep rough for a week, for reporting purposes.

    Started Sunday. Found dead Wednesday.

    I salute you!

  35. Not much more to say about this, sadly

  36. People must remember that the UK is a third world country and the conditions we Brits live in are not much different than the eastern block countries years ago. And it’s going to get a lot worse not better.

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