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Home   Kent   News   Article

Compulsive hoarder Brian Clenshaw facing eviction from Tunbridge Wells home

05 December 2012
by Danny Boyle

Hoarder Brian Clenshaw at home in Tunbridge Wells

Brian Clenshaw surrounded by books at magazines in his Tunbridge Wells flat

by Nisha Chopra

A compulsive hoarder faces being made homeless after he was told he will be evicted because of his huge collection.

Brian Clenshaw, from Tunbridge Wells, has a week to find a new place to live after his landlord got a county court ruling for him to leave.

The 52-year-old has filled his flat, in Mount Ephraim, with thousands of newspapers, magazines, DVDs and books - none of which he can bring himself to throw away.

Mr Clenshaw, who believes he suffers from Obsessive Hoarding Syndrome, admitted he had always been a "little hoarder".

But he claims his obsession became uncontrollable when a serious accident dramatically changed his life.

Video: Brian Clenshaw explains how his collection grew

Mr Clenshaw said: "My hoarding was always manageable, but I had a bad accident back in 1997 where I was run over by a 10 tonne lorry, which left me with a smashed pelvis, impotent and incontinent.

"I could have walked away with £189,000, but my lawyers said I should have gone to the High Court to get more money, but they stuffed it and I didn’t get a penny.

"That’s when I started struggling and that’s when the hoarding took off.

"I was buying all sorts of things from magazines, books, CDs and DVDs. I started a serious coin collection, spending hundreds of pounds and collecting stamps.

"I was in denial at not having this £189,000."

With little movement left in his pelvis, Mr Clenshaw’s hoard makes it even more difficult to move around his flat.

But he says he has struggled to get help in shifting the pile.

"I’ve begged for help with my hoarding but all GPs say I have to completely give up alcohol and then they’ll help," he added. "But it’s the hoarding that distresses me."

"i’ve begged for help with my hoarding but all gps say i have to completely give up alcohol and then they’ll help..." – hoarder brian clenshaw

The former London salesman admits the only time he felt himself again was when he was locked up for harassing his solicitor - and away from his hoard.

Mr Clenshaw said: "I had to go to Elmley prison for four weeks in 2008 because I was losing the plot on the phone with the solicitor who dealt with my civil claim. "I wanted an apology. I had my own cell because of my own medical conditions and it’s been the most content I’ve been for years as I was away from the drink and the hoarding."

But now Mr Clenshaw is facing another uphill struggle as his landlord, A.E.Chattell & Sons, whose offices are based in the building in which Brian lives, have now got backing from Tunbridge Wells County Court for him to be evicted.

He has until next week Wednesday to find another place to live.

Mr Clenshaw said: "They’ve given me a stay of execution, that gives me a chance to get valuable stuff into storage - and find somewhere else to live.

"But I can’t put much stuff in hostels, so it’s very daunting. I accept the newspaper and magazines will have to go but other stuff is really valuable to me."

A.E.Chattell & Sons declined to comment.

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