Hounslow Council may appeal a £97,000 damages payout to a vulnerable Feltham family who were violently abused in their own home.

In a landmark ruling at the High Court, Mr Justice Maddison held that Hounslow Council owed a duty of care to the family, three of whom have learning disabilities.

The 51-year-old and his 45-year-old wife - who cannot be named for legal reasons - befriended a gang of youths in 2000 who subjected them and the wife's two daughters to a weekend of shocking physical and sexual abuse.

The gang also took over their flat and used it as a sex and drugs den and even attacked the family dog.

During the case Hounslow Council denied that it owed the couple any duty of care and claimed that what happened was not reasonably foreseeable.

A council spokesman said: "We were advised of the draft judgement late on Friday, and we are aware we have been granted permission to appeal.

"Once we have approved judgement we will decide how to respond, until then, we can't comment further."