A man has been left homeless following a 12 month battle with the council over unpaid mooring fees for his house boat.

Simon Richards returned to King Edward Quay in the Hythe to find Colchester Council had taken his small sailing boat, Lottie, along with another house boat.

The authority, which had received complaints about anti-social behaviour, said that after 12 months of asking for mooring fees it was left with no alternative.

Mr Richards, 48, said: “I am a free man.

“I don’t subscribe to societies ways, I live off the land and all that.

“I don’t claim benefits and all my work materials are on that boat.

“I have got nothing, I have only got what I am standing in.

Andrew Weavers, strategic governance manager at Colchester Council, said the seizures on Friday **may30** were the culmination of 12 months of work, following concerns from local residents.

See today's paper for the full story.