A lodger who says he looked after an elderly couple for more than 20 years faces eviction from a house he was told he could stay in for life.

Kenneth Campbell, 53, lodged at the house in Worthing for nearly half his life with the elderly couple, named as Mr and Mrs Ascough.

He claims Mr Ascough gave him an assurance he could stay in the £100,000 four-bedroom semi-detached house for the rest of his life as a thank-you for the care he gave them.

But, following the Ascoughs' deaths in 1995 and 1997, he found the house had been left to charities and family members.

A possession order against Mr Campbell was issued on March 27 last year at Worthing County Court.

It declared the property should be handed to Terrence Griffin, Peter Laverick and Peter George Bennet, the executors of the will, and West Sussex County Council who want £64,000 from the sale of the house for nursing home fees incurred by the Ascoughs.

Mr Campbell yesterday asked three Appeal Court judges to reverse the decision but was left facing an anxious wait.

Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, President of the Family Division, Lord Justice Thorpe and Lord Justice Robert Walker reserved their judgement and did not indicate when they would give their ruling.

Mr Campbell was 30 when he moved into St Botolph's Road in 1978 as a lodger.

He claims he cared for the Ascoughs until they went into a council nursing home in 1994.

Timothy Sisley, for Mr Campbell, told the Appeal Court his client had suffered a "quasi-family detriment" during his years of care which entitled him to a stake in the property.

On December 15, 1993, Mr Ascough offered Mr Campbell a life interest in the house but the same was not done by his wife, who by that time had lost her capacity to make a will.

Mr Charles-Holbeck, for the executors, said any "detriment" had been cleared by the benefits Mr Campbell had reaped, most strikingly the fact he had been living rent-free since 1992 and before that paid £10 per week.