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Compensation For Victims At The Glen

junenewsglenPark home residents at The Glen, near Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, who were victims of a campaign of arson, blackmail and fraud from park owner John Doherty and his associates, have now received £507,170 in compensation. The cash, which was handed over to the 19 residents in mid April, was taken by the police from earnings that the gang had made from their crimes.

The offences happened in 2007 when the two Doherty brothers led a blackmail campaign against residents on their park. Four homes were burnt to the ground in bids to get the owners to sell them at reduced prices.

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In February 2009 John Doherty, his brother Simey Doherty and five others were jailed for a total of 64 years for offences including conspiracy to commit arson, blackmail and to defraud. Detective Inspector Mark Colquhoun, who led the investigation into these crimes, welcomed the compensation pay out. ‘Four people were so scared they sold their homes to the Dohertys for just £1 when the market value was at least £75,000,’ he said. ‘It was vital these residents were compensated, not just for the distress they went through but for the financial losses they sustained.’ He also said that while he was pleased that the residents had been compensated, sadly some had died since their ordeal and never got to see the money. Instead it will go to their families.

Sonia McColl, from the Park Home Owners’ Justice Campaign, said: ‘The residents endured a campaign of terror that others simply could not imagine. Some elderly residents stayed up all night in their day clothes because they feared their homes would be torched…I think justice has been done as far as it can be, but the victims and I feel the prison sentences are not long enough, for what they went through.’

Sonia praised West Mercia Police for their handling of the case, hoping that it sent a forceful message to other unscrupulous park owners across the country that not only will they face prison bars if they abuse residents but their equity will be taken and given to their victims.

As well as the £507,170 which is going to residents at The Glen Park, a further £240,245 will go to four victims of a similar fraud at Harvest Hill Park in Coventry. The Glen and Harvest Hill Parks were sold and, once John Doherty’s mortgage lender was paid, the rest of the cash went to the victims - more than 90 per cent of their original compensation claims.

 


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