Squatters who caused damage worth tens of thousands of pounds before being kicked out of a property painted walls saying “die landlord scum”.

These are the images of the wreckage left by a group that were occupying a first and second floor premises in Batholomews, Brighton.

Representatives from owner The Baron Homes Corporation obtained a possession order in court and |carried out an eviction on Thursday.

But after forcing past a homemade barricade of shopping trolleys and gaining entry, the firm said it was “dismayed” at the damage caused.

As well as a smashed toilet cistern, there were messages painted on walls of “you say evict, we say riot”.

A spokesman for owners The Baron Homes Corporation said: “This has been a very difficult week for us.

“Our staff have had to put up with intimidating behaviour, insults and abusive language from the squatters all week as they enter and leave our offices which are next door to the property.

“As soon as we got the possession order we wanted to take our property back as the squatters have caused damage to our business and everyone else’s business in Bartholomews.

'Hornet's nest'

“City centre trade is facing a hard enough time as it is without this kind of senseless destructive behaviour.

“When we tried to get in through the front door we found it had been barricaded.

“It was like poking a hornet’s nest and more of them started arriving.

“They spent all of it claiming that the property was ‘their home’.”

The property is above luxury beauty store Space NK, opposite Brighton Town Hall.

When the owners carried out the eviction, the squatters called police to complain someone was breaking in.

When officers were arrived at the scene, they found representatives of Baron being sprayed with fire extinguishers.

At the time, squatters claimed the firm threatened them and the eviction, which took place an hour after court documents were served, was illegal.

A spokesman for Fortis Law, which represents Baron, said: “Whilst our client is pleased to regain possession, those concerns [about damage to the property] have been realised.

“As the photographs show, the damage caused to the interior is very extensive and the repairs will no doubt be costly.”