Hundreds of strangers respond to Youtube plea by stopping bailiffs evict cancer sufferer

People from as far afield as Newcastle travelled to Nottinghamshire to prevent Tom Crawford from being evicted from the house he has lived in for 25 years

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The Independent Online

A cancer sufferer was saved from eviction on Thursday after 200 strangers responded to his Youtube video pleading with people to help him stop bailiffs from forcibly removing him from his home.

People from across the country, including as far as Newcastle, arrived at the home of Tom Crawford in Carlton, Nottinghamshire, to stop the bailiffs going ahead with the forced eviction.

Instead, the bailiffs had to leave the property empty handed, when a human barrier was set up in front of Crawford’s home.

The crowd had reacted to a desperate Youtube video from Crawford that pleaded with viewers to help stop his eviction - promising “a lovely cup of tea” in return.

According to Crawford’s video, the bailiffs were sent to his home as the culmination of a five-year legal battle between him and the now defunct Bradford and Bingley bank.

Crawford claimed that in 1988 he and his wife Susan, 54, had taken out an endowment mortgage to buy their £41,000 bungalow.

However, after paying into the scheme for a number of years, the bank told him in 2007 that they had no record of him taking out the endowment plan.

This led to a court battle between Crawford and the bank, until a judge recently ordered Crawford to pay £43,000 or risk eviction.

Without enough money to pay, the father-of-three decided to turn to Youtube to seek support.

After making his impassioned video, his daughter, Amanda Pike, helped publicise it across social media.

In the video Crawford says that he is not a “revolutionist” and that he had always followed the law thinking it would take care of him but; however, in this case, the people needed to work together to stop what he saw as “criminal” actions.

He goes on to say: “This is a war, for the people. It may only be a small bungalow, but it is my bungalow, my land, my home.”

The video struck a nerve with a number of YouTube users and has already received over 8,000 views.

It also encouraged people to act, with dozens travelling hundreds of miles to help Crawford.

Andrew Southard, who had made the 100-mile trip from Bedford, told The Mirror: “I watched the video and the way Tom talked about the story just touched me. Personally, I think this is an injustice.

“When something moves people to actually take days off and travel a long distance to try and help, it’s incredible. It just shows the strength of feeling.”

In response to the incident yesterday, UK Asset Resolution Limited, the government body set up to deal with mortgage collections, said that the eviction did not take place due to safety concerns.

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