Evicted tenant convicted of PCSO stabbing
A social housing tenant who stabbed a police community support officer as he tried to evict him has been found guilty of wounding with intent.
Albert Williams, 63, formerly a New Charter Housing Trust tenant in Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, stabbed Gary Etchells, causing paralysis to the officer's neck.
Mr Williams had clocked up more than £2,300 in arrears after his housing benefit was stopped. Manchester Crown Court heard last week how Mr Williams had amassed £60,000 in a savings account, understood to be gleaned from his housing benefit.
As a result of his injuries, Mr Etchells lost the feeling down the left side of his neck and is undergoing speech therapy to correct his damaged voice box.
Martin Frost, deputy chief executive at New Charter, condemned the attack but said the case highlighted concerns over tenants being penalised for managing to save from their benefits. ‘The case has prompted us to look at how the benefit system operates,' he said. ‘We will be approaching the Department for Work and Pensions at the highest level to discuss the implications for people who try to save from their benefit.'
Mr Williams will be sentenced on 5 September.