A MAN was “horrified” when he came home to find a council contractor had climbed through the window of his home to finish a job.

Paul Griffiths came back to his 12th floor flat in Essex Place, Brighton, to find a workman from Mears had made his way inside.

A complaint was made and the workman was sacked by the council maintenance contractors.

Mr Griffiths, who runs the Jilted Dog Art gallery in Brighton, told how he has had to cancel his credit cards and change his computer passwords as he feels his privacy has been breached.

The 53-year-old said: “I left to take my dog to the vet on Monday morning and when I came home at 10am there was a guy in my flat.

“He was a workman from Mears and he said he had been given permission and was blasé about the whole thing – so I pointed out to him he had been in alone and had access to everything.

Mr Griffiths added: “I just could not believe it. I had just come back from taking my dog for a serious operation and there is this guy kneeling in my flat painting the skirting board.

“I was horrified as right next to him was my book with all my passwords in, my laptop and my home computer – he had access to the lot and I have had to cancel everything.

“It is just total chaos and I am suffering anxiety as I have had to write everything off.”

Mr Griffiths said workmen have been converting the flat balconies into interiors so hoists have been used to access all the upper floor properties.

James Cryer, partnering manager at Mears, said the company offered their “sincere and unreserved apologies”.

He said: “We take complaints very seriously and a member of staff has been removed in relation to the incident.

“An operative entered a newly enclosed balcony. Previously the balcony had been open and wasn’t considered part of the internal area of the flat. Once the balcony was enclosed it became part of the internal area.

“The operative should not have entered the newly extended area without permission from Mr Griffiths. “Following Mr Griffiths’ complaint we fully investigated the matter. “We have spoken with all operational staff and clarified that they must not enter enclosed balconies without residents’ consent.”