Scarborough Council has served a closure notice on a property as it fears someone will be killed if action is not taken.
The authority served the order on The Breece in West Street on Monday alleging months of anti-social behaviour at the former hotel, including allegations of a stabbing and a rape.
The site is a House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) and is run by David and Julie Williams of The Breece Ltd, Mr Williams was in court today (Wednesday) when the council applied to have the home shut for three months to allow for changes to be made to the way it is run.
Instead district judge Adrian Lower adjourned the hearing until Friday September 19 to allow for Mr Williams, who gave his profession as a supply teacher, to have more time to study the council’s evidence.
Scarborough Borough Council’s solicitor Kimberley Hudson painted a damning picture of what life had been like for people living near to The Breece.
She said there had been 57 recorded incidents of anti-social behaviour between January and the end of August.
“The offences range from low level anti-social behaviour to very serious allegations of a stabbing and rape,” she said.
Police officers submitted reports to the court listing a number of offences carried out by residents of The Breece, including one incident where one person threw a mug out of a window and onto a car.
Mrs Hudson added: “We have served the notice there as there has already been some serious injuries and, if nothing is done, there could be more serious incidents or even a death.
“When council officers served the notice on Monday they found evidence of serious damage inside the property, drug paraphernalia, a homemade axe and other weapons.”
Mr Williams attended the hearing yesterday to object to the council’s order.
He said a number of people would be left homeless if it were to shut. Should the order be granted the council would be able to evict anyone living in the property instantaneously.
A number of residents of The Breece also turned up at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court to hear if they were to be out on the streets.
Stephen Unwin told Mr Lower that he had been living at The Breece for more than two years.
He said: “I feel I am being unfairly legislated against and accused of things I haven’t done.”
In adjourning the hearing Mr Lower said he accepted that time was an issue.
He said: “I am aware the council has to bring the case before the court within 14 days of the order and is under no legal obligation to show the evidence to Mr Williams but I feel that for natural justice to be served it is only right that he is able to see what is being alleged so he can respond.”
The hearing next week is expected to last a day.
Council employees have been outside The Breece since Monday to offer advice to residents who could find themselves homeless as a result of the order.