A family who had their dead mother's home taken over by squatters have had to pay thousands of pounds to get them out.

Lisa Cockin and her family spent £100,000 on renovating her mother's house in York Avenue, Hove, after she died.

But on the first anniversary of the death of Mrs Cockin's mother, a group moved in, had house parties and left the new carpets ruined.

On Tuesday a judge ordered the squatters to leave.

Having not been able to access the house Mrs Cockin said she 'dreaded'

the moment she walked through the door yesterday after the 10 intruders had left.

She said: “It has been enormously stressful. The renovation was such a big and important job to us. I had a heavy heart and real sense of dread as I walked in and faced it all being ruined.

“Fortunately the damage was mainly just rubbish alcohol bottles but the new carpets have been damaged and might mean we have to change the asking price.

“This episode has been so stressful and emotional for us, especially since it was our mother's home for 20 years.”

Mrs Cockin, 40, said that the legal action and the use of a security firm has cost the family more than £5000.

She said: “We do feel let down by the system and wouldn't want this to happen to anyone else.

“Once they were in we had no rights to go and ask them to leave - we had no right to be in our own home. It left us feeling vulnerable and helpless.”

Hove MP Mike Weatherly, who supported them in their campaign, said: “It is outrageous the property was occupied in this way, making an already difficult situation for a grieving family more difficult.”

The squatters, who included 23-year-old Luke Berkman, painted a sign for the house saying 'Lucky 7', in reference to the house number.

Mrs Cockin said: “Lucky for some, not for us.”