The US district judge Paul Maloney ruled in favour of David Werking, who said his parents had no right to throw out his collection. He lived at their Grand Haven home for 10 months after a divorce before moving to Muncie, Indiana.

Werking said boxes of films and magazines worth an estimated $29,000 (£21,500) were missing.

“There is no question that the destroyed property was David’s property,” Maloney said. “Defendants repeatedly admitted that they destroyed the property.”