Tyne & Wear

Security guards deployed at 84th birthday party in care home

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Media captionDon Robson of Stanhope staged a sit-in in protest at the care home

Guards were deployed at a closing care home to stop "too many" people going to an 84-year-old's birthday party.

Don Robson, who is the last remaining resident at Newtown House in Stanhope, County Durham, was staging a sit-in in protest at its closure.

His family advertised his party via social media and Durham County Council employed guards to turn people away.

It said it had given the family notice that numbers would be restricted because of security concerns.

Mr Robson's daughter-in-law, Michelle Robson, said she was disgusted when friends arrived and had to stand in the car park during the celebrations.

Image caption Don Robson said he felt like crying on leaving his home

A Durham County Council spokeswoman said security had been drafted in because the celebration had been advertised via social media and it was feared too many people would turn up posing a security risk.

The family's social media post urged former pupils of Mr Robson - a former head teacher at Woodham Burn Primary School in Newton Aycliffe - to come on his birthday which was held on the last day of his protest.

'Wide publicity'

Mr Robson said: "I'm going to cry I'm so worked up. I didn't think this would happen, but life goes on."

The council decided to close its last remaining homes in April because it said they were not value for money.

Image caption Friends and family were turned away from the home by two security men

A spokeswoman said: "Mrs Robson has declined to take responsibility for managing numbers and said she was not able to predict how many people may come.

"Given the wide publicity, we let the family know yesterday that we would have to take reasonable security measures to ensure the safety of Mr Robson and staff."

Image copyright Durham People's Assembly
Image caption Mr Robson will now live with his son Steve and daughter in law Michelle

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