Family lose long-running legal battle over home

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A GRAVELY disabled mum and baby face eviction after her school caretaker dad was ordered out of his tied home when he lost his job.

Darren Norton was told he, his wife Louise and their 19-year-old daughter Sam – who has cerebral palsy – would have to leave the School House, at Carlton Primary School, Carlton, near Barnsley, after he was sacked for misconduct in November 2009.

Sam has limited mobility along with learning and cognitive disabilities.

She had a baby in March this year, who is now living in the School House with her, and has since married the baby’s father.

The School House has been specially adapted for her needs – but Barnsley Council said the home was only the Nortons’ as long as Mr Norton worked at the school, and was now desperately needed to house a new caretaker.

The family has fought a long legal campaign to stay in the property – claiming eviction would violate Sam’s human rights.

But today they face having to leave after an Appeal Court ruling.

Lord Justice Lloyd accepted ‘Sam’s way of life and wellbeing might be substantially affected’ by the loss of the home.

But rejecting the family’s appeal, the judge said Barnsley had ‘a sound need’ for the property to accommodate a new caretaker and an ‘unqualified right’ to possession of the School House.

The judge urged the council to save the family from homelessness by finding them somewhere else to live which is suitably adapted for Sam,.

He said he was ‘glad to learn’ Barnsley is already taking steps to assess her needs.

Sam has lived in the School House since she was 16 months old.