Homeless person discovered living in Ilford garden: What would you do?

PUBLISHED: 16:51 19 October 2015 | UPDATED: 16:51 19 October 2015

Richard Harper came back from holiday to find a sleeping bag and rubbish in his garden.

Richard Harper came back from holiday to find a sleeping bag and rubbish in his garden.


A postman has spoken of his “shock” after returning from holiday to find a homeless person had been camping in his front garden.

Richard Harper, of Belmont Road, Ilford, came home on Friday after four days in Budapest, Hungary, to discover a sleeping bag and a bin bag with belongings in it left outside his house.

“My neighbour said ‘have you seen what’s been happening in the front garden? Somebody has set up camp’.

“There is a green sleeping bag and a black bin bag with some stuff in it, there is some rubbish there as well.”

The 48-year-old said he was “shocked” and “scared” after the discovery, which points to someone having been living in his garden while he was away.

Richard Harper came back from holiday to find a sleeping bag and rubbish in his garden. Richard Harper came back from holiday to find a sleeping bag and rubbish in his garden.

“It is right outside my front window, the sleeping bag is tucked up against the hedge,” he said.

Mr Harper said he would not wait to give the person their belongings back if they returned, instead chucking them in the bin.

“I do not care,” he said. “I am not having people camping in my front garden.

“I do not give two hoots where he sleeps next – he’ll be sleeping without his sleeping bag though.”

The Recorder reported recently that the council had started building its own hostels to cope with the 2,195 Redbridge families in temporary accommodation around the country.

At the end of September a group of 11 homeless people had to be evicted from a camp in the car park of Lynton House, High Road, Ilford.

Mr Harper said: “I do not care about the housing crisis, why should I be bothered?

“I work six days a week to pay my mortgage, I do not have time to think about Ilford’s housing crisis.

“Now if someone comes along and leaves their stuff in my garden, it is going in the bin.

“If you ask anybody else down this road they would do exactly the same.”

What would you do if you found a sleeping bag in your garden? Vote in our poll.

Related articles


  • Dear Mr. Al Giles. If I get any more people setting up camp in my garden, I'll direct them to your house, you can look after them! Richard Harper

    Report this comment


    Tuesday, October 20, 2015

  • "Mr Harper said: “I do not care about the housing crisis, why should I be bothered?" Who knows, Mr. H?. Perhaps one day, through no fault of your own, you will find yourself in a similar position. Let's just hope you find somebody with rather more compassion than you display to others.

    Report this comment

    Al Giles

    Tuesday, October 20, 2015

  • I feel sorry for Mr Harper as I have the same issue in Seven Kings and the police and outreach team are doing nothing to sort the situation.

    Report this comment

    Danny O'Brien

    Tuesday, October 20, 2015

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