Squatting 'Gang' Of 30 Snatches Vacant 10-Bedroom, £10M London Mansion; Pending Eviction Action Of No Concern As Group Has Sights On 'Roomier' Abode
- A LATVIAN squatter living in a £10 million mansion has offered to “open” houses for others to take over – and is planning to move into a bigger home himself. Jason Ruddick, 21, moved into a four-storey Victorian mansion with a 30-strong gang, many of whom are also from eastern Europe. It is believed he entered the house in Highgate, north London, on Boxing Day.
- Ruddick, who came to the UK after hearing it was a “soft touch” for squatters, said: “I like it around here and there are empty houses. We are going to keep going.” The house, which belongs to Lebanese businessman Albert Abela, was empty because it was to be renovated. Mr Abela is said to be furious at having to pay for gas, water and electricity as he cannot legally disconnect supplies while the house is occupied.
- A court hearing to evict the squatters is set for January 19 but the gang has already set its sights on a new home. Yesterday Ruddick – an anglicised version of his Latvian name – said: “We will move to a bigger place. I have found somewhere only 15 minutes away and we want more people to join us.”
- And, in a post on the Advisory Service for Squatters website, he offers to “open” empty houses for others to live in. He writes: “I have many empty houses… I can open them for anybody who’s interested – but not for free.”
For more, see I Want An Even Bigger House Says Latvian In £10M Squat.
See also BBC News: Squatting in 10-bed Highgate home was 'easy': squatter:
- [Ruddick] said squatters rights in England means "this is one of the few countries (where) it is so easy to do it". "I would probably get arrested (in Latvia), that would be the end of it", Mr Ruddick added.
- Occupation of empty properties is a civil, not a criminal, matter in England and Wales, unless entry is forced. Police can act only if the squatters commit offences such as theft or criminal damage.