A bereaved mother claims she is homeless after 'heartless' Hammersmith and Fulham Council evicted her from her dead daughter's house.
Lesley Bond-Vaughan, 61, was kicked out of daughter Stacey's two-bedroom home on the Emlyn Gardens Estate, Shepherd's Bush last month after losing a two-year legal battle with H&F Homes.
She claims she had been living with and caring for spina bifida and epilepsy sufferer Stacey until she tragically died of a brain haemorrhage in June 2008 aged 33. Under council rules, she believes she is entitled to take over the tenancy having lived there for more than a year.
But H&F Homes is convinced she was also living at her mother's home in Fulham, and evicted her on November 10 following two court hearings.
Ms Bond-Vaughan has been left stunned and says she is now homeless. She is lodging with a friend while waiting to see if the council will give her somewhere else to live.
"The way I have been treated is appalling. I've been bullied and lied to and now I'm homeless," said Ms Bond-Vaughan, a former Canberra Primary School teacher.
"To cope with this while dealing with the loss of my beloved daughter is not something I'd wish on anyone. The council is heartless."
The tragic story began in 2005 when Ms Bond-Vaughan cut short her retirement in Sussex when Stacey's health deteriorated.
She split her time between Stacey's home and her mother's flat in Fulham but says she moved in with Stacey permanently when her condition worsened in 2007.
Stacey spent the last three months of her life in hospital and Ms Bond-Vaughan, when she wasn't at her daughter's bedside, stayed with her mother rather than return to an empty home.
H&F Homes, however, believes she never made Stacey's house her permanent residence, pointing to the fact all correspondence it received from Ms Bond-Vaughan, including parking permit applications and council tax payments, came from her mother's address.
She says this is easily explained.
"When I moved back from Sussex I felt I ought to be paying some council tax and, as I had always had my post delivered to my mothers, did it from there. The permits were for my other daughter.
"The only time I wasn't there was when I was at the hospital."
But two judges have found against Ms Bond-Vaughan and she is now considering calling a judicial review.
"It's hard being called a liar and it's sad that it has come to this, and I'm worried about the future.
"At least my daughter is in a better place. She was in terrible pain in the last months of her life."
Councillor Lucy Ivimy, H&F Council Member for Housing, said: "The death of Stacey Bond-Vaughan is a tragedy for everyone who knew her and the council's sympathy goes to her friends and family.
"However, it has been proved that Lesley Bond-Vaughan was not living permanently at 145 Crane Court at the time of Stacey's death and therefore has no legal right to the tenancy of the property.
"The courts have backed this view but, even if she were eligible for a discretionary tenancy, 145 Crane Court is too big for her housing needs as she is a single person living on her own and we would be denying families who really need a two-bed property if we ignored the rules."