Dad’s battle for daughter

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A SCHOOL caretaker ordered out of his home after losing his job is fighting a court battle to stay in the property until suitable accommodation can be found for his disabled daughter.

Darren Norton was told he, wife Louise and 19-year-old daughter Samantha – who has cerebral palsy – would have to leave the School House at Carlton Primary School, Carlton, near Barnsley, after he was dismissed.

Barnsley Council said they could only live there as long as Mr Norton worked at the school because it was needed for the new caretaker.

But the family did not leave and the council went to Sheffield County Court seeking a possession order, granted by Judge John Swanson last December.

Challenging the order at the Court of Appeal, in London, lawyers acting for the family argued they should be allowed to stay until the council has found suitable accommodation for Samantha.

The 19-year-old, who recently had a baby, has lived in the house since her father started working at the school in 1992.

Samantha’s condition restricts her mobility, as well as her learning and cognitive abilities and the house has been specially adapted to her needs.

Simon Read, for the family, said it was unclear what would happen to Samantha if the family were to become homeless.

Lawyers for the council said the family’s right to live in the property ended when Mr Norton lost his job and eviction was ‘not disproportionate’.

Adam Fulwood, for the council, said Samantha’s needs would be considered by the council when the family made an application for homelessness support.

He added: “Any issues would be part of the ongoing duty in the next stage.”

Lords Justice Maurice Kay, Carnwath and Lloyd reserved their judgment until a later, unspecified, date.

They urged the council and the family to work together to try to find suitable accommodation.