The house raided in Surrey in connection with Friday’s terror attack at Parsons Green is owned by a couple who foster child refugees, with one recent foster charge being described as a problematic “foreign” 18-year-old, according to media reports.
Sources speaking to Sky News said that the home raided on Cavendish Road in Sunbury-on-Thames is owned by a well-respected elderly couple who were both awarded MBEs for their services to children and families and are known for their work in fostering child refugees.
Penelope Jones, 71, and her husband Ronald, 89, both honoured by the Queen in 2009, have reportedly housed 268 children and came out of retirement in response to the migrant crisis, the MailOnline reports.
At least eight of the couple’s foster children have reportedly been refugees, coming from Iraq, Eritrea, Syria, Albania, and Afghanistan. The Joneses were believed to have been helping Surrey County Council with a scheme relocating Syrian nationals.
There are conflicting media reports from neighbours as to how many children the Joneses are currently fostering, with a woman who lives across the street from the couple telling the Mirror Online that their latest foster son is “lovely” and “really quiet”.
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However, another neighbour has described the couple fostering two “foreign” males, one of which is again described as “quiet”, the other as “awful”.
”All I know is that they have two boys at the moment, both are foreign,” Serena Barber, 47, who said she has known the couple all her life and lives in a property which backs onto theirs, told The Sun.
”One is very quiet and polite, the other who is 18 is awful.
“He kept getting in trouble with the police and they didn’t know what to do with him.
”I know about two weeks ago he was arrested by police at Parsons Green, for what I don’t know and returned back to Penny and Ron.
“After that Penny said she was going to have to stop caring for him, she couldn’t handle him.”
The street was evacuated with a 300-foot cordon set up around the property.
Met Police said of the evacuation: “The evacuation is a precautionary measure following the arrest of a man in Dover, Kent, at approximately 07:50hrs this morning in connection with the investigation into the terrorist attack at Parsons Green Underground Station on Friday, 16 September.
“Officers began evacuating the address at approximately 13:40hrs today.”
Scotland Yard confirmed they are “keeping an open mind” to whether more than one person was involved in the plot, and the threat level remains at Critical, meaning an attack could be imminent.