A MAN has locked himself inside his Ryedale home because he fears being evicted after it was left to a North Yorkshire charity in his mother’s will.

John Laborevics, 40, has become a recluse in the Norton house where he has lived for 32 years and fears a knock on the door from bailiffs any day will leave him homeless, according to his brother, Paul.

Their mother, Lily Yeomans, left the house to Yorkshire Cancer Research in a 1989 will, 15 years before she died.

But Paul, 43, said: “All of us assumed the house would go to John. When the will was read out it was a jaw-dropper to say the least.”

He said he could not risk losing tens of thousands of pounds by contesting the document in court, but said he could think of no reason why his mother would have chosen the Harrogate-based charity to benefit.

In the will, Mrs Yeomans left her estate to her then partner, Raymond Johnson, but stipulated that, should she outlive him, everything should go to the charity. After outliving Mr Johnson, Mrs Yeomans’ wish was carried out and the Commercial Street house was left to the Harrogate-based charity following her death in 2004.

The charity said it had tried to negotiate a sale, instigated by John and Paul Laborevics’ other brother, Gary Laverack, in 2005/6, but the deal had collapsed.

A spokesman said the charity believed Mrs Yeomans had explained in writing why she had not left her estate to her sons and said the charity had only resorted to the possession order after other attempts to resolve the matter failed.

The spokesman said communication with John had been “extremely difficult” and said neighbours had also complained about the state of the property.

He said that, after the collapse of the planned sale, the executors of the will had spent time trying to conclude a tenancy agreement with John, but said: “Despite extensive attempts to conclude this tenancy arrangement, it did not come to fruition.”

He said: “After careful thought, the trustees authorised the executors to commence proceedings against John for possession for the property. This would have the effect of bringing matters to a head. Either possession would be obtained to allow the property to be sold or the proceedings would bring John to the table to agree to the formal lease arrangement previously proposed or to try to make a formal claim.”

Paul said he was upset that the charity had also given John a bill for the court costs.

He said: “It’s sticking a knife in and twisting it.

“In 2009 they offered him a tenancy agreement but he would have been responsible for all the maintenance including wiring and plumbing and he would have been paying rent.

“When I have asked to meet face-to-face to make things a little more human it has never come about.

“They have been very businesslike in their approach – there’s been no empathy.”