Violent convict who calls himself Adolf given taxpayer millions to house vulnerable children in Hove

Posted On 12 Feb 2022 at 9:45 pm

Dozens of vulnerable children and significant sums of money have been handed to a man who has been jailed for violence, cultivates a sinister reputation and who changed his name to Adolf.

The children – up to 60 at a time – are among an even greater number of migrants being housed in three hotels in Hove linked to the infamous property owner Nicholas Hoogstraten.

Some of the children have gone missing during their stay in Hove, with Sussex Police having issued a number of public appeals for help to find them.

The Labour MP for Hove, Peter Kyle, is among those to have questioned Hoogstraten’s suitability to house vulnerable youngsters and to have asked whether the Home Office even carried out proper checks.

According to the Land Registry, the freeholds of the three hotels – the Albany, the Imperial and Langfords – are owned by Tombstone Ltd, which claimed assets worth £58 million in its latest accounts.

Tombstone’s directors include four of Hoogstraten’s children – and, by all appearances, the hotels remain part of his family business.

The company’s former directors include 76-year-old Hoogstraten, listed as Nicholas Adolf Von Hessen, the sort of name that might prompt questions from those responsible for the care of vulnerable children.

Even basic checks would reveal that Hoogstraten, was first jailed in 1968 for paying a gang to throw a grenade into the home of Rabbi Bernard Braunstein, in Brighton.

He was described by one judge as “a sort of self-imagined devil who likes to think of himself as an emissary of Beelzebub”.

But the same judge, Lord Justice Wynn, also said that Hoogstraten “built up a picture of himself as a sinister international figure”.

He added that Hoogstraten was little more than “a child, a Walter Mitty character, who will grow out of all this nonsense”.

But he was jailed again in 2002 – for 10 years – for the manslaughter of a business rival Mohammed Raja.

Although the verdict was overturned on appeal, a civil case followed and in 2005 Hoogstraten was ordered to pay Raja’s family £6 million.

As Britain continues to take refugees from countries riven by conflict – like Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq – Hoogstraten and his family could easily pocket several million. Kurds, Eritreans and Iranians have also been housed locally.

Mr Kyle, who has been visiting the refugees, said: “It is very clear that Nicholas Hoogstraten owns these hotels through his family.

“I’m sure anyone who knows that name will be appalled that he — or any private landlord — is allowed to take taxpayers’ money to house vulnerable children and young people who have fled war and persecution and need proper supported accommodation.”

Peter Kyle

Mr Kyle raised the matter with the Home Office in a parliamentary question last November but he was told that “accommodation costs are considered commercially confidential”.

But he said: “The room rate would be £150 per room per night in usual circumstances.”

The hotels have more than 150 rooms between them. Even if they charged half their usual rate and were only half full, they would be paid £5,625 a night – or more than £2 million a year of public money.

Mr Kyle added: “The whole system of using hotels is operating in such a legally and ethically grey area. No one should be profiting from this.”

The Labour shadow minister spoke out in response to questions from the Daily Mail which carried a special report today (Saturday 12 February) headlined: “How you’re paying the family of Britain’s most toxic landlord – who has changed his name to Adolf – a fortune to house migrants.”

The Daily Mail coverage followed a critical report in the Guardian two months ago which also quoted Mr Kyle after he wrote to the Home Office to raise concerns.

He asked officials to investigate the treatment of at least five women at one of the hotels.

Nicholas Hoogstraten

In a letter sent in December, he wrote: “A community midwife has been into the hotel as there was a pregnant woman who required booking for her antenatal care.

“When she arrived, she discovered that the woman was already 38 weeks pregnant and had not been seen by a doctor/GP since arrival in the UK.

“This woman has primary tokophobia and has a possible breech presentation.”

According to Mr Kyle’s letter, the midwife found that four more women there required antenatal care.

Mr Kyle wrote: “She was required to attend to these women in a communal area and was unable to assess their other living conditions.”

The Guardian added: “Another letter of complaint, written by a health official, said guards were allegedly withholding food.

“‘Sometimes the pregnant women were only given water,’ the official claimed.”

And even though the Home Office would not tell Mr Kyle the cost of the hotels in his constituency, where conditions have been criticised, the Daily Mail spelt out the overall bill.

The newspaper said today: “The Home Office was forced to admit last week that it is spending £4.7 million every day on housing 25,000 asylum seekers in ‘hotels’ such as those in Hove.

“Current rules do not require hotels to prove they meet strict health and safety requirements before children move in.

“In a letter to the Commons Home Affairs Committee last November, Home Secretary Priti Patel admitted it was simply ‘an expectation that hotels meet the statutory health and safety requirements, and the Home Office can request copies of the relevant health and safety certificates’.

“Isn’t this a scandal in itself? The three Hove hotels are the last link in a toxic chain.

“In 2019, the Home Office awarded contracts worth up to £4 billion to three ‘outsourcing’ companies, to provide accommodation and transport for asylum seekers.

“The contract for the south of England (and Wales) went to Essex-based Clearsprings Ready Homes.

“According to filed accounts, the firm generated a £4.4 million profit last year on sales of £163 million, most of which comes from its work for the Home Office.

“Clearsprings, run by the King brothers – Graham, 54, and Jeff, 62 – has paid out £10 million in dividends since 2019.

“‘Our team on the ground works closely with all our stakeholders in a way that is sensitive to community cohesion issues and guided by provable sustainable and ethical trading policy,’ it says on the Clearsprings website.

“Yet standards at some establishments subcontracted to house migrants have been criticised by both the refugee agency UNHCR and the Home Office, with asylum-seekers at one London hotel complaining of bed bug infestations, water leaking through the ceiling and electrical faults.

“So the Imperial, the Albany and Langfords would seem not to be isolated cases.”

To read a blog post on the subject, written by Mr Kyle last July, click here.

  1. Chaz. Reply

    Excellent reporting Frank on a thoroughly distasteful character.
    Anyone walking past any of these establishments will be aware of the unsavoury nature of the business. Par for the course with him.
    Am surprised the Greens and the council have said nothing and only Kyle has.
    Or am I?

    • Peter Reuben Reply

      What a complete lot of nonsense, carried out like a true and timid member of the great unwashed, a keyboard warrior writing his ignorant drivel on here, the coward’s way

      • Chaz. Reply

        So says Adolf’s BFF.

    • Robert Reply

      The Green council has complained about children migrants being housed in unsuitable accommodation by the Conservative Government in Brighton and Hove.

      However, it has only been reported nationally in the Guardian 2021-09-25 (google and you’ll find it) and was not reported on this website.

    • Hove Guy Reply

      The Greens are too occupied right now, trying to work out more devious ways to rip off the motorist.

  2. Simon Philips Reply

    They day this horrible,nasty poor excuse of a human being dies, his unfinished ‘Palace’ should be forcibly demolished as a blot on the landscape and Brightonians should have Street parties!

  3. Andrè Reply

    Typical slumlord providing nothing but a roof at a high price but without dignity.
    These people are not ashamed of how they treat others.

    • Peter Reuben Reply

      he’s done more for locals and others in a week than you have in your entire boring and cowardly life.
      who are you going to provide accommodation for?

      • Some Guy Reply

        He’s also authorised more grenade attacks, which sort of balances the scales a little.

      • Hove Guy Reply

        What has he done for locals and others? It would be very interesting for us to know.

      • Helen burtenshaw Reply

        Perhaps enlighten us to what he’s done ?

  4. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    I have made this point several times, and also asked several Public Questions about his destruction of The Drive.

  5. Carol Ramsey Reply

    I used to worK as an Environmental Health Officer dealing with slum landlords in the 80s. If I’d been working for the council where Hoogstraten started his HMO’s I’d have stamped on him so hard he squeaked. He’s got away with it and allowed to become so rich that he’s almost untouchable because the local authorities LET him!

  6. Chips Reply

    Of all the people and of all the hotels in Brighton and Hove, Hoogstraten gets the contracts! Perhaps he financially contributes to the Tories. Perhaps Clearsprings are on his books! Maybe Brighton and Hove City Council are also in his pocket (re the sad state of The Drive, Hove, as per CH’s comment above). Who knows, but money talks and he’s now got £millions from the Tax Payer to add to his ill-gotten legacy! Should be investigate.

  7. Daniel Reply

    Great article and a serious concern. These people are not for exploiting, the home office model us broken our local authorities should be empowered to do more. the privatised nature of the system needs challenging and changing urgently.

  8. Chips and Beans for Supper Reply

    I recall my mother telling me that during the late 1960’s this monster would walk around Hove dressed in sunglasses, Black suit, Black top hat and a Black cape. Probably thought that it was intimidating and was attempting to look like Jack the Ripper.

    Ghastly, ghastly unpleasant man who delights in profiting from human misery

  9. Chrissy Stubley Reply

    Having only just read this article on Hoogstraten has bought back painful times back in the 1970s whilst renting in one of his houses in Brighton. My ingrained memory of visiting Intergen House office in Palmeira Square leaves a bitter taste. The fact that he has continued to harass, intimidate, enforce violence for his own gain over many years and now adds further by renting out to those so much less fortunate on taxpayers money, purely to add to his empire. It beggars belief that those in Government and councils let these tenders through without checking merit.
    His karma must be a heavy load to carry (would he even know) but being the small man that he is perhaps it will trip him up one day…now that’s good karma in my eyes.

  10. Steve Tilford Reply

    The usual histrionic reaction regarding Mr H. This is yet another non-story. The government have elected to take these people in and they have to be housed somewhere. Who cares who owns the freeholds as surely it is the operator of the properties that should take any ‘flack’. I mean has anyone actually asked that question

    PK supposed outrage is also nonsense – why would any landlord not seek to make a return as that money is then recycled into rates and the like – I mean hotels were decimated by COVID

    Most of the commentary is from people that have never met Mr H and I wonder how many would say what they write here to his face – the cowards way indeed. Mr H is his own man, 100% decent and loyal

    • Hove Guy Reply

      Well, yes, he is certainly his own man, but 100% decent and loyal? What evidence have you for that statement?

      • john steed Reply

        spot on.

    • mart Burt Reply

      Steve Tilford
      The usual ‘blind and deaf’ reaction in defence of Mr H.
      The government have elected to take these people in and they have to be housed somewhere.
      Yes they do, but they should do a proper check of those they contract work out too. We are talking about ‘children’ would this guy get through a DRB check.
      Who cares who owns the freeholds as surely it is the operator of the properties that should take any ‘flack’.
      Apparently a lot of people, why should we tax payers fund a violent criminal ?
      PK supposed outrage is also nonsense. Evidence to back up that comment required please.

      Why would any landlord not seek to make a return as that money is then recycled into rates and the like.
      That goes for any other landlord too.

      Hotels were decimated by COVID.
      Well done on noticing that.

      Most of the commentary is from people that have never met Mr H.
      So what?
      People never met Jimmy Savel but know enough about him to form an opinion.
      I wonder how many would say what they write here to his face

      I think he is a scum bag and I certainly would say it to his face.
      Mr H is his own man, yes for lining his own pockets and making people’s lives a misery.

      100% decent, really, a convicted violent criminal?
      Loyal to who?

  11. Mike Reply

    NVH was a good friend of Mugabe of Zimbabwe been convicted of manslaughter, and a rogue landlord since the 1960’s

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