Belfast Telegraph

PSNI to examine video of man on crutches being forced from hostel

By Michael Sheils McNamee

Footage has emerged of a man on crutches being forcibly removed from a Belfast hostel - with one of his walking aids thrown after him into the street.

Video taken from CCTV has been posted to the Twitter page of the BBC's Stephen Nolan Show, and shows an incident at the Morning Star House hostel on Belfast's Divis Street.

The video appears to show five staff members standing around the man in the lobby area of the hostel. Four staff members then appear to push the man into the street, where he falls onto his side, before having his second crutch thrown after him. The man appears to have a shoe missing as he lies in the street.

It is not clear what happened before or after the footage was taken.

Contacted by the Belfast Telegraph, the Morning Star hostel said it was making no comment at this time. It receives funding from the Housing Executive through the Legion of Mary, and is accountable to the Charity Commission.

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission said it was aware of the incident. It added: "The Commission is taking this matter very seriously and has opened a concern into the charity."

A spokesman for the Housing Executive confirmed it had received videos and emails about the incident.

"We are working with the Charity Commission, who, we understand, is currently undertaking an investigation into this organisation," he said. "We cannot comment further at this time."

The information was passed to the PSNI after being received by the Housing Executive.

The PSNI has obtained the footage to determine whether any further action is required.

Speaking to the Nolan Show, SDLP councillor Paul McCusker said: "People who work in these hostels do have to have a level of training.

"Quite often they get training for vulnerable adults. And what that training does is teach them how to respond in different situations. From what I have seen in the video, staff did not respond in an appropriate way."

Belfast Telegraph

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