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Eviction widow given more time

PUBLISHED: 05:43 18 January 2003 | UPDATED: 16:12 24 February 2010

A WIDOW facing the prospect of eviction from her home and deportation was given a temporary life-line by a judge, who told her she could have more time to fight her housing case.

A WIDOW facing the prospect of eviction from her home and deportation was given a temporary life-line by a judge, who told her she could have more time to fight her housing case.

Maria Puchrowicz appeared at County Court in Colchester yesterday to face a possession order because of rent arrears totalling more than £2,650.

The 63-year-old, who has been ordered to return to her native Poland by Home Office officials, spoke through an interpreter, to say she would try and pay back the money through instalments.

The Colhester widow ran into immigration problems after her husband Stanislaw, who she married in 1993, died. He had lived in the UK since the end of the Second World War.

District Judge Mitchell adjourned the case until next month after Mrs Puchrowicz, of Tynedale Square, Highwoods, suggested she wanted to use the human rights act to defend her case.

Mrs Puchrowicz, who criticised the housing association for not exploring all possible solutions, offered to pay £35 per week from her widow's pension of £70 per week.

District Judge Mitchell said of the offer: "How is she going to live"?

Stefan Krzyzewski, speaking for Mrs Puchrowicz, said she had ran into difficulties because she had not understood some of the correspondence.

He said: "Colne Housing Association, before seeking a possession order, should explore all possible answers under the human rights act."

Mr Krzyzewski, of the Relief Society for Poles, said the housing association should have looked in to the possibility of giving smaller and more affordable home to Mrs Puchrowicz.

Mrs Judith Winward, for Colne Housing Society: "Colne Housing Society has bent over backwards but can't allow the arrears to continue at the present rate with no prospect of the arrears being paid."

In statement after yesterday's adjournment, Colne Housing Society said: "We at Colne Housing have supported Mrs Puchrowicz and worked hard to find a solution and have delayed the court action as long as possible."

Her stepdaughter, Lisa Draper, of St Johns Estate, Colchester, said she hoped the town's MP, Bob Russell, might be successful in his attempt to assist in the predicament.

Last week Mr Russell said he hoped an adjournment would give time for a response from the Home Office about the immigration proceedings.


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