A ROYAL Marine is taking legal action after the former pub which he made his home was accidentally demolished.
Shocked Ross Hunt has been left with a £600-a-month mortgage on a pile of rubble after the disused bar was razed by an over-zealous wrecking crew.
The warrant officer in the Royal Marines Band paid £150,000 for the property in Inverkeithing, Fife, and even hoped to reopen it as a pub.
But the 35-year-old got the shock of his life when a friend called to say it had been flattened by a demolition team called in to knock down a neighbouring paper mill.
The pub – previously known as The Shore Bar and Ye Olde Forresters Arms – is a local landmark and was thought to be more than 120 years old.
Ross, who served in the Iraq war helping to look after casualties, is demanding compensation from the receivers for the former paper mill.
He said: “The building was not in a wonderful condition. Some kids had got into it when I was away and after that I boarded it up.
“However, I was always going to move back in when my work brought me back here.
“I visited the property last August and it was as I’d left it.”
A month later, while Ross was in Portsmouth with the Marines, a bemused friend called him to ask him why the pub was in ruins.
He said: “An ex-work colleague called me and asked why I’d demolished the place. I was shocked.
“It seemed that there had been a belief that my home had been part of the mill.
“I’ve got a large mortgage on this property which is now just a pile of rubble.
“I couldn’t believe that anybody would demolish a property without even checking who owned it.
“There must be procedures they have to go through.
“The pub still had hundreds of glasses, a pool table, a music system.
“There was always a possibility that when I left the forces I could re-open it as a pub.
“They seem to have done me a favour by knocking the place down because it was in poor condition but although it needed some work it was perfectly habitable.
“When I saw how it had been left, I was absolutely gutted. Stunned.
“I was distraught, dumbfounded. I couldn’t believe that it was even possible this could happen.
“It’s shocking that someone didn’t try to find out who owned it.
“As well as being my home it was a well-known landmark. The plaque outside said it was built in 1873.”
Ross, who is originally from Devon, says personnel stationed at the nearby Navy base used to frequent the pub before it closed.
He bought the pub after he used to see it
Ross is now based in MoD Caledonia in Rosyth but has had to stay in forces accommodation.
He faces financial hardhsip as he still has to pay around £100,000 on the £150,000 mortgage for the property.
He continued: “I can’t afford to rent another place while I’m paying the mortgage. Lickily I’m in the forces and have a roof over my head.
“I’ve got all my worldly possessions in a little room at Caledonia.
“I’m not being greedy by saying I want compensation for stuff like emotional damages.
“I’m not a greedy person but I need money back I paid and maybe a little bit more so I can get a new place.
“Generally speaking I’m a happy person, not an angry one but this is all but this is all starting to affect me and get on top of me, the more it’s dragging on.”
He added: “This is the only property I own
“I might have to go bankrupt, which would affect my military career.
It means I might not get a promotion from a warrant officer to a commissioned officer.
He called on the mill’s receivers, Ernst and Young, to admit their error.
He said: “I would think a big company like Ernst and Young could put the hand up and admit there’s clearly been a mistake made here.”
A spokesman for Ernst and Young said: “Talks are taking place over this matter and as a result we cannot comment at this time.”