June 7 – Trent

I’m Trent and I have a belief that every person is entitled to access the law equally. That’s why my favourite client is Skyler*, he is from a low socioeconomic background, as are most HALC clients. He is a bit of a character who has a substance use problem and is HIV and HEP C positive.

He volunteers at a community organisation delivering food to help others twice a week.He lets several people stay at his house and they take advantage of him. They took over his home for criminal activity. He is a vulnerable individual who often gets taken advantage of because at heart he is a bit of a softy. He needs our help.

The police raided his house and charged him with possession of stolen goods. He has pleaded not guilty as the items were left there by the people who used his house, he told police he is scared of the consequences what those people will do to him if he divulges their names.A memorandum of understanding between NSW government departments means the housing department found out about the criminal charges and issued him with an eviction notice.He now has to defend criminal charges and civil eviction proceedings on the same evidence, on two different standards of proof, at the same time.

I was sent off to NCAT as an advocate of a vulnerable person who needed help. It was exciting and nerve racking but I did ok. It was my first time to represent a client as a PLT student, I quickly realised without representation he would be out on the street, living rough, with extensive medical problems including HIV. The department of housing wanted him out straight away, regardless of the criminal outcome.Up next we are defending his criminal charges and his eviction notice. My PLT experience has been exciting, challenging, thought provoking, and rewarding on every level.

Please donate to HALC so we ‪#‎leavenoonebehind‬ and ensure people like Skyler have representation when they need it most.

*names of clients have been changed to respect and protect their confidentiality

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