A housing association has been accused of negligence after an elderly lady and a carer were stabbed by another tenant in sheltered accommodation in Ealing.
In January this year, pensioner Joseph Louis, 75, attacked another tenant and a carer with a machete at Sanctuary Housing Association managed sheltered accommodation, Shaftesbury House, Grange Road.
He was subsequently tried and jailed for 10 years on September 12.
Shiwa Astiani, 34, the daughter of the lady who was stabbed in her own home, who is still too frightened to be named herself, claims that in the months leading up to the attack, Sanctuary Housing Association ignored several complaints about Louis.
Ms Astiani said: “My mother was brutally attacked, beaten and stabbed in her own home after months of threats, harassment and stalking. His behaviour in the run up to the attack was incredibly distressing for not only my mother but many other residents, all of whom complained to Sanctuary Housing Association over a number of weeks and months. They did nothing. Often we did not get any response to our complaints. Even after a death threat to my mother nothing was done by them or the police. During the court case it came out that he had in fact stabbed five other people previously and had also served five years in prison for another stabbing. He was clearly a very dangerous individual.
“Why on earth was this man allowed to live in sheltered accommodation with elderly and vulnerable people. Where was the vetting process? My mother was hit on the back of the head with the handle of the machete. He then tried to slash at her face and beat her. In defending herself he slashed her across her hand. She could have been killed. On top of this they did not even bother to inform residents about what had happened, leaving them bewildered and very frightened that he might come back as no one from Sanctuary had bothered to tell them he had been arrested and locked up.
“I believe that it is directly down to negligence by Sanctuary Housing that my mother and a carer were left fighting for their lives. They did nothing to protect their tenants from a very dangerous individual. The signs were there but they ignored them.”
A Sanctuary spokeswoman said: “Sanctuary were extremely shocked by the events of that day, and our main concern was and continues to be for the welfare of the victims.
“We conducted our own investigation into the incident, and have been in close liaison with both social services and the police. We believe that, as a housing provider, we did everything within our power to protect our residents; and there is no indication that we could have done anything to prevent the actions of the perpetrator.”
After sentencing Louis at Harrow Crown Court, investigating officer DC Talat Taj said: “This was a horrific, violent attack on two people for no reason. I am delighted for the victims that the jury returned a guilty verdict and Louis was given the sentence that he deserved.”