A battling 85-year-old who was sacked from his cleaning job for being too old has sworn to carry on with his "anti-ageist" campaign despite a top judge's ruling against him.

Bill Lloyd-Briden had given years of blameless service cleaning up after students at Worthing College when he was given his marching orders at the age of 82 in 2006.

That was not because he had done anything wrong, but because the college's insurer said it could not fully cover him because he was over 80 and the college decided it could not take the risk of having him on site.

Since then, Mr Lloyd-Briden, of Cambrian Close, Worthing, has fought a lonely battle to prove he was unfairly dismissed and unlawfully discriminated against because of his age.

An employment tribunal and then an employment appeal tribunal both said they simply had no power to consider his case because the 1996 Employment Rights Act restricted unfair dismissal claims to sacked employees aged 65 or under.

Those decisions were today confirmed at the Court of Appeal Court by judge Lord Justice Pill despite Mr Lloyd-Briden's plea that the legal "age cap" flew in the face of the UK's obligations under both the 1999 Treaty of Amsterdam and basic principles of European law.

The judge, sitting in London, expressed sympathy for the plucky pensioner, saying his sense of grievance was "understandable in that he was dismissed on grounds of his age and not because of any defects in his performance".

Had Mr Lloyd-Briden been sacked just eight months later, the European Equal Opportunities Directive - which lifted the age restriction on unfair dismissal claims - would by then have come into force, he added.

However, Lord Justice Pill said that, on the basis of the law as it stood at the time of his dismissal, he had no chance of winning an appeal.

Mr Lloyd-Briden, who appeared in court with his daughter, who helped him to cope with his hearing difficulties, remained bright-eyed after the judge's decision.

The pensioner, who stood firm with the support of two walking sticks, said the law was "unfair" and that he would now consider taking his case to the European Court of Human Rights.