Kidnapped dad taken to court by Camden Council for erecting ‘vital’ CCTV
- Credit: Polly Hancock
A family that has been victim to a brutal kidnapping, violent armed robbery and sawn-off shotguns being fired into their home are at risk of being thrown out of their council flat after being taken to court for erecting CCTV cameras.
Dennis Daniel and wife Margaret are facing punitive legal action by Camden Council for taking the protective measures despite them and their two children suffering numerous near-death attacks at their home in Primrose Hill.
A period of just three years saw Mr Daniel: robbed at gunpoint and beaten unconscious; kidnapped by masked men and tortured in the back of a van; and have his door kicked down in a kidnapping attempt which saw a sawn-off shotgun blasted just yards from his young daughter’s bedroom.
He says the incidents have caused permanent damage to his health and the family say they are now terrified.
Mr Daniel told the Ham&High: “The attacks were horrific. The kidnapping saw three men wait outside my home and drag me into their van as I came up to the entrance to my building.
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“They then taped up my hands, mouth and eyes, and beat me repeatedly over the head. They rang my wife for a £200,000 ransom, which we didn’t have. Police found me hours later dumped on a road in Harlesden, hands bound and head twice the size.
“About a year later, my wife and I then woke up in the night to our front door being kicked down.
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“Armed men then tried to break into our bedroom door. After we screamed and pushed back they fired a shotgun just yards from my five-year-old daughter’s room. They eventually left empty-handed but I came out to see my little girl standing in the hall surrounded by smoke from the shotgun. Imagine if you saw your child in that situation.”
Believing the attacks were because of the high-profile clients visiting his home business, Mr Daniel added: “I used to make exclusive handmade football boots for Premier League stars. Didier Drogba, Alex Song, Theo Walcott, the list of clients goes on. Some of them would turn up to my home in their sports cars so the people who targeted me probably thought I had a lot of money lying around, which I don’t.
“The head injuries I’ve sustained mean I’ve not made a boot since.
“Since we installed CCTV about five years ago we’ve had no more trouble.
“One camera overlooks a public area – a street entrance to our building – while another overlooks a street. We’re happy for the council to replace them with their own, but they refuse.”
Last week, Camden Council took the Daniel family to court to get them to take the cameras, which are on council property, down. The case is adjourned.
The council’s officers say they have received complaints from neighbouring tenants that the cameras “invade privacy”.
But not included in the council’s witness statement to the judge is a request from the same tenants that the camera instead be replaced with one run by the council. Minutes from a residents’ association meeting show the request shot down by the council housing officer because he “did not think the council would provide funds for this”, with him adding: “[The estate] is not considered to be a high crime area.”
The council’s lawyers described Mr Daniel’s reasoning for erecting CCTV as “irrelevant”.
They are seeking an injunction to have the cameras removed and it may result in the family losing their home.
Mr Daniel said: “What am I supposed to do?
“Does the council just want me and my family to wait to be killed? Common sense must prevail given what has happened.”