Only Fools and Horses

Close kids’ care home: Only Fools and Horses star’s plea after residents burgle his house twice

The actor, who played Boycie in the classic sitcom, believes the home for three “extremely vulnerable” children is in the wrong location

Only Fools and Horses star John Challis wants a children’s home to move out of his village after two youngsters broke into his mansion and stole a bottle of malt whisky.

The actor, who played used car salesman Boycie in the classic sitcom, believes the home for three “extremely vulnerable” children is in the wrong location.

Kids broke into the star’s home while he and wife Carol were on holiday in Hawaii earlier this year.

Mr Challis, 69, supported villagers who voted unanimously in favour of calling on Keys Childcare to find another site for the Mill House Care Home.

Actor John Challis speaks at a public meeting held at St Andrews Church Hall, Adforton, Herefordshire about the future of Mill Cottage Children's Care Home

View: Mr Challis speaks at a public meeting 



The actor told a public meeting: “To be told by the company, after this latest incident when two of the boys got out and broke into the house on two separate occasions, that the home did not feel their staff had been negligent, I find unbelievable.

“They broke in and stole some malt whisky. The strength of feeling is very strong.

“We have been going through this for 10 years. The community have had enough, this was the last straw.

“I understand the need to look after unfortunate young people. It is a very difficult job but this is totally in the wrong place.”

General view of the home of John Challis, Wigmore Abbey, Herefordshire on the right and the Mill House care home on the left

The care home: On the left, with Mr Challis’ house on the right 



The children’s home is less than 100 yards from the actor’s grade one listed mansion near Leintwardine, Herefordshire.

His wife Carol, 63, said: “We’ve had the children’s home here for 10 years but two years ago new people took over and they didn’t know what a mess they were inheriting.

“There have been 19 police call-outs to the home since January.

“The sight of police cars chasing these runaways around is now a regular occurrence.

“The break-in has left us anxious and fretful every time we go to town.

“We’ve suffered verbal abuse from the youngsters.

“They watch us when we drive in and out.

“We’ve been here for 14 years and since these problems our rural idyll has been shattered.”

John Challis in TV soap 'only fools and horses'

Classic: As Boycie with Del Boy in Only Fools and Horses

The public meeting heard incidents involving the care home had cost West Mercia Police more than £200,000 in seven years.

Wendy Chambers, of Keys Childcare, said: “Setting this issue into context, there are only three children in the home and their behaviour is similar to other teenagers.

“We are always happy to respond to concerns and help reassure neighbours that we take their worries seriously.”

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