13th January 2017
By Graham Smith
St Austell MP Steve Double has called for the closure of the town’s Cosgarne Hall, a hostel which provides accommodation for homeless people whose drug, alcohol and mental health problems make it difficult for them to live without support.
All four of the men involved in Wednesday’s murder – the victim, and the three accused – were residents at the hostel. Mr Double said he was not pre-judging any of the facts which have yet to be heard by the courts, but said he had been worried for some time about a pattern of anti-social behaviour in the area which he claimed stemmed from Cosgarne Hall.
Mr Double called a press conference at the Truro Road playground this afternoon, where the murder victim's body was found, to express his concerns, calling for the hostel’s closure and an immediate curfew on its residents.
“I am also concerned at the impact the presence of Cosgarne has on our town,” he said. “There is no doubt in my mind that they act as a magnet that attracts people to St Austell.”
Cosgarne Hall managers have yet to respond, but one resident, David Hook, who happened upon the press conference as it was in progress, said he disagreed with Mr Double.
“Cosgarne Hall has helped many people,” he said. “Without Cosgarne, there would be people with mental health problems living rough and sleeping in the streets.”