A pair of Blackpool plumbers have made an impassioned appeal for a conned pensioner to come forward after he was cheated out of a new bathroom.
St Annes plumber Matthew Hutchinson took £660 from an 82-year-old man with the promise of installing a new bath in his home – but instead he gambled the cash away.
Now Sam Gaw, 30, and Kane Guest, 24, of Complete Service Plumbing on Bolton Street, are offering their services free of charge to the victim, who courts said had still not been able to get a bath because Hutchinson had not fully paid him back.
Mr Gaw, who lives in Cleveleys, learned of the elderly man’s plight after reading about Hutchinson’s 12-month community order sentence in The Gazette on February 15.
He said: “When I read about it in the paper I was horrified.
“We decided to offer our time to get it sorted and we just wanted to see it put right. We’re offering all our labour free of charge.”
The father-of-two added that he hoped to rekindle peoples’ faith in local businesses, which he believes has been lost.
He said: “It feels so terrible that someone has lost money, especially someone local, and it reflects badly on everybody in the trade.
“We want to help re-establish some of the trust in the trade.”
Mr Guest, who also lives in Cleveleys, said: “It was Sam that told me about it. He showed me the story and it was said that it’s a shame that this sort of thing is happening to people.
“My granddad is disabled and if he was in that situation it’s horrible to think that someone would take advantage of that and gamble the money away. It’s not a nice thought.
“It’s just completely taking advantage of vulnerable people.
“We can put the whole thing right and do the job the way it’s supposed to be with no messing around.
“I imagine he has gone through a lot and a lot of the trust in the trade has probably gone.
“We just want to let him know that we are not all like that and we’re not all cowboys.
“He obviously doesn’t deserve having this done to him and anything we can do to help we are happy to do.”
The pair hope to complete the work to the man’s bathroom in one day with the help of their apprentice plumber Peter Taylor.
Do you know the 82-year-old man whose money for a new bath was gambled away? Call The Gazette on (01253) 361733.