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BANNED: Injunction served on traveller family as John Cassidy barred from Sandwell

By David Cosgrove | Sandwell | News | Published:

An injunction banning a travelling family from setting up unauthorised camps anywhere in Sandwell is now in force after papers were served on the head of the family.

A burnt-out car at Black Patch Park in Smethwick, one of the sites used by the Cassidys

Fourteen members of the Cassidy family were named in the injunction granted to Sandwell Council, supported by West Midlands Police, in June.

Head of the family John Cassidy is now banned from the whole of the Sandwell borough, while the rest of the family are prohibited from setting up unauthorised encampments, causing damage to barriers and fly-tipping anywhere in Sandwell.

To bring the injunction into force, papers had to be served on all parties – which has now been done after the 44-year-old John Cassidy was physically served in Warwickshire.

If any of the Cassidy family or persons unknown breach the injunction order they will be in contempt of court.

The order also forbids anyone - whether a member of the Cassidy family or not - from setting up an unauthorised encampment on 17 Sandwell Council-owned sites including parks, playing fields and open spaces.

  • See below for a full list of sites named in the injunction

Anyone breaching the injunction could face two years in jail, a fine or have their assets seized.

The order was granted after the High Court of Justice heard how the Cassidy family had caused anti-social behaviour including assaults, large-scale disorder, threats, intimidation, criminal damage and an extreme amount of fly-tipping on sites across Sandwell.

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Mounds of rubbish left at Black Patch Park after the Cassidys and others had camped there

In extensive evidence from West Midlands Police and Sandwell Council, Judge McKenna was told how parks, business estates, car parks and playing fields were all targeted – often with human waste and tons of rubbish left behind once the Cassidys were moved on.

Councillor Paul Moore, cabinet member for regeneration and investment, said: “I’d like to thank the police for their assistance and the lengths they have gone to to successfully serve this injunction on John Cassidy.

"Now this has been done, Sandwell is protected from this particular group who have caused huge damage and disruption to council land and for our communities.

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“Unauthorised encampments cause misery for residents, cost the council thousands of pounds a year and take up valuable police time and resources.

“This injunction is the latest in a series of actions we’re taking to prevent and remove unauthorised encampments, including the use of bailiffs, police powers and creating a transit site in Boulton Road, Smethwick.

“Dealing with unauthorised encampments and the mess they often leave behind cost the council around £250,000 last year and this is just not acceptable.

“It’s our priority to protect our land by doing whatever we can to stop unauthorised encampments in Sandwell.”

Any breaches of the injunction should be reported to the council or the police.

The 17 council-owned sites named in the injunction are:

  • Kent Road Open Space, Friar Park, Wednesbury
  • Millenium Park, Friar Park Road, Wednesbury
  • Sandy Lane Open Space, Friar Park, Wednesbury
  • Blakeley Wood Road, Tipton
  • Land off Dartmouth Street, Greets Green, West Bromwich
  • Shaftesbury House car park, High Street, West Bromwich
  • Churchfields Playing Fields, Newton Road, West Bromwich
  • Wyntor Lane Open Space, West Bromwich
  • Crookhay Lane / Chester Road Open Space, West Bromwich
  • Meadow Avenue Open Space, West Bromwich
  • Greets Green Recreational Ground, Claypit Lane, West Bromwich
  • Ridgacre Industrial Estate, Ridgacre Road, West Bromwich
  • Lion Farm Playing Fields, Newbury Lane, Oldbury
  • West Smethwick Park, Victoria Road, Smethwick
  • Harry Mitchell Park, Coopers Lane, Smethwick
  • Black Patch Park, Foundry Lane, Smethwick
  • Tame Road Playing Fields, Brandhall Oldbury
David Cosgrove

By David Cosgrove
Deputy Chief Reporter - @davidcosgrove_

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