Army of traders step in to help conned pensioner

David oversees Sam Gaw (left) and Kane Guest as they put the finishing touches to their handiwork
David oversees Sam Gaw (left) and Kane Guest as they put the finishing touches to their handiwork
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A pensioner who was conned out of a new bath is now showering in style after a generous team of plumbers joined forces with local suppliers to install a sparkling new bathroom free of charge.

David Ryder, 82, was swindled out of a walk-in shower after the rogue trader he hired gambled the cash away.

It was even more than what I wanted in the first place!

Kind-hearted Blackpool plumbers Sam Gaw and Kane Guest from Complete Service Plumbing on Bolton Street launched an appeal to find Mr Ryder’s identity with The Gazette after reading about his story, and within a matter of days had taken on the task of restoring his faith in humanity.

Mr Ryder, who lives at Hornby Road in St Annes, said: “It’s brilliant and I really appreciate the lads for what they did. It really puts your faith back in the trade.”

The great-grandad-of-two, who suffers from a lung disease, forked out £600 for a walk-in shower last year after his poor health meant he was unable to lift himself in and out of his bath.

Now he is enjoying not only a new shower, but a new toilet, sink, and tiled floor thanks to Complete Service Plumbing and their generous suppliers Jewsons, Topps Tiles, Style Carpets and Richard James Lighting, who agreed to provide all necessary materials for free. He said: “They have changed everything. They took out the old bath and put in a new walk-in shower, took the old tiles out and retiled the whole room, and put in a new wash basin.

“It was even more than what I wanted in the first place! I was flabbergasted. It’s great and I’m most grateful. They’re good, hard-working lads and they’ve definitely restored my faith.”

Electrician Shane Dodd, tiler David Heaton, plasterers John and Jake Doherty and Roy Watts from R.W. Flooring also gave up their time to help Mr Ryder free of charge.

Plumber Kane, 24, who lives in Cleveleys, said: “It was a small-to-medium-sized job and he said he was delighted with it. We managed to get everybody involved and give their time and materials for free.

“The finished job looks absolutely beautiful and it’s because everybody came together. We were all there for a reason and that was to help Mr Ryder out after what had happened.”

Sam Gaw said: “I can’t believe what a difference it has made and he’s such a lovely gentleman, it was really a pleasure to help him out.”

• Matthew Hutchinson, 29 of Heaton Road, St Annes, pleaded guilty to fraud. He was sentenced to a 12-month community order with up to 20 days’ rehabilitation ordered to do 80 hours’ unpaid work and told to pay £450 compensation to the victim plus costs by Blackpool magistrates.