Darlington caretaker faces squatting in his own home

UNCERTAIN FUTURE: Hummersknott Academy caretaker Brian Wilson, who can't work because of his bad back

UNCERTAIN FUTURE: Hummersknott Academy caretaker Brian Wilson, who can't work because of his bad back

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A SCHOOL caretaker forced to retire on health grounds has been told to vacate the home that goes with the job – but could end up squatting there.

Brian Wilson was caretaker of Hummersknott Academy, in Darlington, for almost 20 years, but had to give up work a year ago after he began to suffer back problems.

The 57-year-old was later told he had been working with a broken back for two years and need surgery.

Mr Wilson’s employment formally ends on April 13 and he and his wife Susan are expected to leave the property the same day, having had three months’ notice to leave.

The couple say they have spent £20,000 of their own money improving the property over the years.

They were under the impression that they would get all that money back when they left, but the school says it had fulfilled its financial obligations.

The property is on the school grounds, but the couple believe it will not be needed for another caretaker to live in.

They say many of Mr Wilson’s former duties are now carried out by different employees and want to stay in the house on site.

Mrs Wilson hinted that they may be forced to squat in the house.

She said: “We have spent £20,000 doing up this house up, it did not have any gas or central heating when we moved in.

“We had our own house before Brian got this job and we were going to rent it out, but decided to sell it when we saw the state of this place.”

A spokesperson for the school said: “The school does not agree it has treated Mr Wilson unfairly in any way.

“As he is still employed by us, we are unable to discuss details relating to his employment as they are confidential.

“We have honoured all our responsibilities regarding the financing of agreed refurbishment of the property.

“Any money which may have been spent above the amount formally agreed was at the discretion of Mr and Mrs Wilson.”

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