HIGH Court judges have upheld a ruling against Worcester City Council brought by an angry tenant - but slashed the compensation to which she is entitled.

Mary Rushton had sued the authority after she and her husband Michael, who has since died, bought their home in Ronkswood from the council 10 years ago.

The council had failed to reveal the property's stitch joints were made of high-alumina cement, which could crumble.

Mrs Rushton claimed that, but for the council's "misrepresentation", her £9,800 home in Durham Road would have been repaired while she was settled elsewhere at the authority's expense.

Last year, a judge at Worcester County Court awarded £25,686 in damages against Worcester City Council. But the council appealed, disputing it had knowingly sold a defective home.

It claimed its knowledge of Mrs Rushton's property was based on a 1984 report that did not state any structural flaws other than carbonisation and the presence of chlorides - both of which were disclosed before the deal was struck.

"Nothing we have heard in the argument on this appeal persuades us that the judge was wrong in the decision which he reached," said Lord Justice Parker yesterday.

But he and Lord Justice Potter felt the county judge had been wrong to award Mrs Rushton money for alternative accommodation, removal costs and disruption.

Lord Justice Parker also said the original order "over assessed" the amount of interest she was due. He therefore reduced the award by £8,916.

Mrs Rushton declined to comment on the verdict until she had spoken to her solicitor, Richard Morgan. He was unavailable for interview.

The chief executive of Worcester City Council, David Wareing, said the authority's lawyers would study the judgement on Monday and draft a report for councillors.

"I feel very sorry for Mrs Rushton," said Councillor Mike Layland, who represents Ronkswood tenants.

"There aren't any winners. This award will come out of the council's insurance."