A gypsy family moved into the home of an immigration officer home while she spent a night at the Proms.
Julia High, who works at the UK border agency, found the Roman gypsy family of eight squatting in her home of 30 years in Leytonstone, east London, a fortnight ago, after being alerted by neighbours.
They held bogus tenancy documents and claimed her neighbours had told them she was dead. Despite her furious protests, they insisted they had rented the house from her “son”.
The gypsy women were wearing High’s clothes, and the rest of her belongings had been stuffed into garbage bags and dumped in her back garden.
High was even offered a glass of her own wine after being “invited” her back into her own home.
When High, 55, secured an eviction order the following day, the group trashed her house, leaving most of the rooms uninhabitable.
A computer, containing valuable pictures of her two-month-old grand-niece, and digital cameras were been taken, the carpets have been removed and food taken from her fridge.
Only her two beds and her wardrobes were not damaged.
"These people have just trashed 30 years of my life and thrown it into bin bags,” High said.
“It is soul destroying."
High had been to the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, London, on a Monday evening after work. She had left for work the previous Friday morning, spending the weekend visiting her elderly parents in Guildford, Surrey.
She returned home to find the Romanians sitting around the dining table.
The front door had been levered open but she admitted she had no way of proving the Romanians were to blame.
"The women came to the door dressed in my clothes, they were sitting around my dining room table, drinking my wine out of my glasses,” she said.
“They even offered me a drink and told me they were from Romania.
"They said I was dead and my son had rented the house to them. I am very much alive, single and I don't have a son."
Police had served a county court eviction notice that evening, but by that stage, the group had destroyed much of her home. The kitchen and bathroom suffered water damage due to removal of the lead roofing.
Last night, members of the gypsy family abused reporters after being confronted at the house they were currently staying at around the corner.
They chased reporters down the street, spat at them and also hurled abuse.
Later a woman, who gave who her name as Carmen, came out to the street and denied being the family behind the destruction.
The 35 year-old said she lived in the house with her four children, aged, 4, 12, 14 and 16 as well as her 54 year-old aunt and her two children aged 16 and 14.
The house cleaner, who came to Britain from Romania a month ago, said she rented the house from "a man who stopped me on the street and asked if I wanted to rent this house".
She declined to answer detailed questions.
Neighbours of High became suspicious of the claims she was dead and called her parents Jean and Bernard, who are in their 80s, to confirm.
Her frail mother said: "As far as I am aware she is very much alive and she certainly was when she left our house this morning."
Outside High's home were several garbage bags and a note pleading with people not to ransack the rubbish.
Neighbours said the gypsies had come back and collected clothes High had thrown away.