Neighbours have vowed to help a pensioner who has just 28 days to stop him being kicked out of his home where he’s lived for 66 years.
Ken May has lived in the same property since 1955 when he was a baby but now faces eviction.
The 67-year-old, who lives in Standfield Gardens, Gateshead, has no mains electricity, instead using a petrol generator to charge car batteries and stores Calor gas canisters in his home.
A judge blasted the storage of fuel as “dangerous” and backed the council to evict him as the property had deteriorated.
But his neighbours are determined to help him stay.
One local reportedly told the Sun : “Ken’s always helping with the lady across the road, he’s a great help to everyone.
“The council have acted unfairly, they even said he had rats in his home once.
“I’ve never seen rats in his home and I have a big dog so if there were any rats, we would have known about it by now.”
Other neighbours also backed Ken saying ‘people want to help’.
Ken has 28 days to show he’s getting the property into shape or he’ll be turfed out.
His garden has debris from a hedge he’s cut down and an abandoned motorbike is near his front door.
But nonetheless there have been messages of support on social media.
On Facebook Ciprian Slatineanu wrote: “We had a chat with Ken this morning and we are planning to help him with cleaning and remove all the unusable stuff.”
Several locals responded, with some offering their vans to help carry larger items to the skip or put them up for sale.
Ken told The Sun he was grateful to his neighbours and said the generator is not dangerous and he’s not harming anyone.
He added: “I’ve paid my national insurance for 50 years so I get a full state pension and the right to live here.”
District Judge Charnock-Neal made the possession order, saying that it wasn’t in breach of human rights legislation and that housing law allows for eviction of tenants that allow properties to deteriorate.
She said: “Storing fuel including petrol and Calor gas could cause danger. He failed to keep his home neat, tidy and clean, evidenced from the photo I have seen from 2018-2021.
“He failed to dispose of rubbish left in his shed, lean to, and garden. In contrast to the claimant the defendant offered limited evidence.
“His reason for not offering entry to the property was his age. He offered no medical evidence that he was shielding. The Government stated high-risk ages were over 70.”