Romford barrow boy to Luxembourg bank high-flier to Harold Hill homeless hostel
- Credit: Archant
As a 14-year-old “barrow boy” selling fruit on Romford Market, Steven Marston did not expect to earn an annual salary of £250,000 at a bank in Luxembourg, nor did he think he would end up partially blind and homeless.
He told the Recorder that, aged 17, he landed a job at a City bank and later moved to Luxembourg to work in a senior position for JP Morgan.
The dream fell apart, however, after he claims his MG car was hit side on at about 75mph.
The accident caused his eyesight to deteriorate and left him unable to work. He said he then lost his savings in a lengthy, ongoing custody battle.
Steven, now 46, returned to his hometown, sought the council’s help and in May was housed in the Abercrombie House hostel, in Bridgewater Road, Harold Hill. He was evicted last month after an alleged altercation.
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He is now in a legal battle with Havering Council after it was decided his visual impairment makes him no more vulnerable than another homeless person.
Steven said: “Sleeping rough you try and find somewhere you feel safe to sleep but when you can’t see, you don’t feel safe anywhere.”
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He admits that he argued with a member of staff at the end of his four-month stay but strenuously denies that there was a physical altercation. The council has not pressed criminal charges.
Housing cabinet member Cllr Damian White said: “He was asked to leave Abercrombie House because he attacked a member of our staff. We found that there is no legal duty to house him.
“He has asked us to review this decision, which we are now doing.”
Steven also said his room, 12a, was just 4ft wide and 10ft long and previously housed the staff toilet.
Cllr White denied this but Steven exclaimed “the toilet piping was still in there”.
While Steven awaits the council’s final decision, he sleeps on friends’ sofas when they are able to put him up and sleeps rough at other times.