Man facing eviction blames benefits system for debts

JPCT 20-08-12 S12330698X  Anthony Lock, Sullington Copse, Storrington treatened with eviction -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 20-08-12 S12330698X Anthony Lock, Sullington Copse, Storrington treatened with eviction -photo by Steve Cobb
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A Storrington man, who has been unable to work since an accident six years ago, is now facing eviction from his home and says he would be better off in prison.

Life changed for Anthony Lock, 47, of Sullington Copse, when he tripped on an uneven surface in Storrington High Street and fell in the path of a car,resulting in serious neck injuries.Today he is facing an MRI scan and prospect of a plate in his neck and cannot work.

A claim for compensation resulted in a county council payment of £36,000 four months ago - but he had to repay £21,000 in relation to benefits received in the last five years,

He said: “I was on benefit because I had no income. The benefit was stopped nine times in five years because of delays in processing the medical certificates I had submitted in time to the Department of Works and Pensions.”

“I already had debts including £14,000 for a work van bought before the accident and have been paiying child maintenance I have had only £5,500 in the last five years to live off and this has added to my debts.

He is suffering from depression and said: “At least in prison I would be fed, have a roof over my head and could learn a new skill such as computing. This has ruined my life.”

A spokesperson for Horsham District Council said: “We processed Mr Lock’s application for housing and council tax benefits based on information provided by the Department for Work and Pensions and Mr Lock.”