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A desperate man is threatening to set himself and his home alight if bailiffs evict him - having reportedly doused his flat with petrol.

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The man, named locally as Wayne Wilson, 46, has been holed up in a first-floor flat in Somerset Close, Tottenham, since 11am, and police are believed to be locked in negotiation with him.

Friends said the self-employed gardener has been embroiled in a High Court battle with Sanctuary Housing Association over his tenancy, which came to a head this morning when a judge agreed an eviction order.

Mr Wilson, said to have lived at the same address for around 20 years, was described as a decent man and keen marathon runner who never got into trouble.

His friend, legal advisor Winston Leachman, said: “He’s at his wit’s end and he doesn’t know what else to do. He has nowhere else to go.”

A number of neighbours evacuated from their homes spoke of their frustration at the situation.

One resident said: “I feel sorry for him, but he’s going about it the wrong way. What if he gets put in a psychiatric hospital?”

One woman, who suffers from diabetes, was unsure when she would be able to retrieve her medication.

The police cordon also prevented a heavily pregnant woman taking her three children to her parents’ home.

The fire brigade sent seven crews at the start of the siege, reduced to two by mid-afternoon.

Sanctuary Housing Association was making contingency overnight arrangements for tenants as the siege looked to continue into the evening.

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