Roofers to the rescue after Richmond woman conned out of £300

Richmond and Twickenham Times: A good bunch: Roofers Lee Martin and Jon Beeston, Steve Mills, owner of A1 Loft Conversions, and team leader Chris Spencer A good bunch: Roofers Lee Martin and Jon Beeston, Steve Mills, owner of A1 Loft Conversions, and team leader Chris Spencer

A pensioner who was conned by a bogus builder was overwhelmed when kind-hearted tradesmen came to her rescue.

The 86-year-old was swindled out of £300 by a man who offered to fix her roof and claimed to work for A1 Loft Conversions, who were doing repair works on her neighbour’s home.

The Richmond woman became suspicious when the man failed to return, so she approached the builders next door who said he was not from their company and phoned the police.

She said: “I genuinely thought he was one of them from next door.

“I have a carer but he wasn’t here that day he was away and it was my fault I let him in.

“It really happened so quickly it was a bit of a shock. It’s awful. It shakes you up a bit. It’s a nasty feeling."

After hearing of the incident, owner of A1 Loft Conversions Steve Mills decided to surprise the pensioner with a bunch of flowers, a £300 cheque and has offered to fix her roof free of charge.

The Sydney Road resident said: “I don’t believe it. It’s made my day. I think it’s beautiful. It’s lovely of them, they have been so generous.

“I am quite staggered. Knocked sideways.”

Mr Mills said if it was his mother who had been targeted he would have wanted her to get the same treatment and warned people his company never approached householders uninvited.

He said: “She deserves to enjoy a peaceful retirement without the stress of feeling unsafe in her own home.

“We are doing all we can to demonstrate that we care and support her efforts to protect others.”

Comments (2)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:42pm Fri 18 Jan 13

denisbrowne says...

Congratulations & respect to Steve Mills/A1 for their generosity. These stories make me furious - an old friend was fleeced for an absolute fortune before his death (imaginary roof & gutter repairs) when the 'builder' realised he had dementia. There's clearly some kind of network of shared information here - when I stayed at my late Mother's house for a while, I was amazed at the regular visits from passing 'builders', who - passing by & purely out of the goodness of their hearts, of course - wanted to point out a loose tile they'd happened to notice. Eventually one of them lost patience & exclaimed "So what about the old lady who lives here"?!
Congratulations & respect to Steve Mills/A1 for their generosity. These stories make me furious - an old friend was fleeced for an absolute fortune before his death (imaginary roof & gutter repairs) when the 'builder' realised he had dementia. There's clearly some kind of network of shared information here - when I stayed at my late Mother's house for a while, I was amazed at the regular visits from passing 'builders', who - passing by & purely out of the goodness of their hearts, of course - wanted to point out a loose tile they'd happened to notice. Eventually one of them lost patience & exclaimed "So what about the old lady who lives here"?! denisbrowne

6:27pm Sun 20 Jan 13

EdwinaWaugh says...

DO SOME REAL INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING!

A list of names seized by police probing allegations of child abuse includes ministers, members of the royal household and a world-famous pop star, the Sunday People can reveal.

All were recorded as visitors to a suburban guest house that operated as a gay brothel.

Now some could be suspects in an investigation into a network of powerful people who were secret paedophiles for years.

Late last week police ramped up the inquiry – and arrests are believed to be imminent.

Nine officers raided the North London home of former child protection worker Mary Moss after she initially declined to co-operate with the investigation.

Documents and a laptop were seized. Ms Moss later handed over a further 19 files she had hidden in a neighbour’s shed.

The papers include a list of men who went to sex parties in the 80s at the Elm Guest House, Barnes, South West London.

Among the names are two former Conservative Cabinet ministers and four other senior Tories.

There is also a Labour MP, a prominent Irish republican and a leading National Front member.

Others on the handwritten note are two members of the royal household – one a former Buckingham Palace employee – plus the owner of a multinational company and two pop stars.

One of those is a best-selling musician, but like some others on the list he is not suspected of being involved in the child abuse.

The list was taken at meetings in 1988 between the guest house’s manager Carole Kasir and child protection officials.

Other documents seized are believed to identify 16 boys who were allegedly trafficked to the guest house from local care homes. Police have asked Richmond Council for a full list of children in care at the time.

Officers will also be examining copies of cash receipts and ­the guest house’s visitor records.

Operation Fernbridge is investigating claims that boys who were in council care were brought to the Elm to be sexually abused by bigwigs and VIPs.

It was launched after Labour MP Tom Watson claimed a paedophile ring used top-level connections to dodge justice.

As well as Richmond, social services records from nearby Wandsworth, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Hounslow will be checked by detectives.

The first people to be arrested are not expected to be famous.

But sources close to the investigation are increasingly confident some big names will be caught in the police net.

Renowned figures linked to the scandal so far include the former Liberal MP Cyril Smith and the one-time Keeper of the Queen’s Pictures Anthony Blunt, who was disgraced as a traitor and spy.

The Sunday People was the first to expose the “paedo palace” last month. Its owner Kasir was 47 when she died of a suspected overdose in 1990.

At her inquest, child protection workers told the coroner of her meetings with them two years earlier.

She reported that boys from nearby Grafton Close council home were ­brought to her premises and abused.

The claim was never fully investigated by police. Kasir was at the Elm when cops raided a party there in 1982.

Twelve boys then told police they had been abused by men in the house but complaints were not pursued.

The only prosecution in the wake of the raid resulted in Kasir being convicted of keeping a brothel.

Campaigners believe she did not know of the child abuse until shortly before she reported it in 1988.

It appears a 2003 probe into activities at the Elm also fizzled out. Now Operation Fernbridge may be on the verge of bringing offenders to justice.

It was triggered by a speech Tom Watson made in the House of Commons.

He told MPs there was “clear intelligence” of an abuse network of powerful men with influence at the highest level – in Parliament and even in Downing Street.

A lot of it was gathered in the 1992 investigation into paedophile Peter Righton.

The Met launched Operation Fairbank with a staff of five collecting intelligence on long-standing allegations.

After interviewing adult witnesses they started Operation Fernbridge to look solely at the Elm.

Ms Moss said of last week’s police raid: “They were friendly enough but I thought it was heavy handed and a complete violation of my ­privacy.”

The Met said on Friday: “The investigation will be led by the Child Abuse Investigation Command.

"The allegations under Operation Fernbridge were initially assessed under Operation Fairbank, which was from information passed to police by Mr Tom Watson.”

The MP said: “I believe a great injustice was done in the 1980s.

"To stop something like this happening again I am asking victims to summon the courage to come forward now.

“Whatever has happened in the past your voices will be heard now.

“You can contact the police. Or if you feel more comfortable you can contact me directly.”
DO SOME REAL INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING! A list of names seized by police probing allegations of child abuse includes ministers, members of the royal household and a world-famous pop star, the Sunday People can reveal. All were recorded as visitors to a suburban guest house that operated as a gay brothel. Now some could be suspects in an investigation into a network of powerful people who were secret paedophiles for years. Late last week police ramped up the inquiry – and arrests are believed to be imminent. Nine officers raided the North London home of former child protection worker Mary Moss after she initially declined to co-operate with the investigation. Documents and a laptop were seized. Ms Moss later handed over a further 19 files she had hidden in a neighbour’s shed. The papers include a list of men who went to sex parties in the 80s at the Elm Guest House, Barnes, South West London. Among the names are two former Conservative Cabinet ministers and four other senior Tories. There is also a Labour MP, a prominent Irish republican and a leading National Front member. Others on the handwritten note are two members of the royal household – one a former Buckingham Palace employee – plus the owner of a multinational company and two pop stars. One of those is a best-selling musician, but like some others on the list he is not suspected of being involved in the child abuse. The list was taken at meetings in 1988 between the guest house’s manager Carole Kasir and child protection officials. Other documents seized are believed to identify 16 boys who were allegedly trafficked to the guest house from local care homes. Police have asked Richmond Council for a full list of children in care at the time. Officers will also be examining copies of cash receipts and ­the guest house’s visitor records. Operation Fernbridge is investigating claims that boys who were in council care were brought to the Elm to be sexually abused by bigwigs and VIPs. It was launched after Labour MP Tom Watson claimed a paedophile ring used top-level connections to dodge justice. As well as Richmond, social services records from nearby Wandsworth, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Hounslow will be checked by detectives. The first people to be arrested are not expected to be famous. But sources close to the investigation are increasingly confident some big names will be caught in the police net. Renowned figures linked to the scandal so far include the former Liberal MP Cyril Smith and the one-time Keeper of the Queen’s Pictures Anthony Blunt, who was disgraced as a traitor and spy. The Sunday People was the first to expose the “paedo palace” last month. Its owner Kasir was 47 when she died of a suspected overdose in 1990. At her inquest, child protection workers told the coroner of her meetings with them two years earlier. She reported that boys from nearby Grafton Close council home were ­brought to her premises and abused. The claim was never fully investigated by police. Kasir was at the Elm when cops raided a party there in 1982. Twelve boys then told police they had been abused by men in the house but complaints were not pursued. The only prosecution in the wake of the raid resulted in Kasir being convicted of keeping a brothel. Campaigners believe she did not know of the child abuse until shortly before she reported it in 1988. It appears a 2003 probe into activities at the Elm also fizzled out. Now Operation Fernbridge may be on the verge of bringing offenders to justice. It was triggered by a speech Tom Watson made in the House of Commons. He told MPs there was “clear intelligence” of an abuse network of powerful men with influence at the highest level – in Parliament and even in Downing Street. A lot of it was gathered in the 1992 investigation into paedophile Peter Righton. The Met launched Operation Fairbank with a staff of five collecting intelligence on long-standing allegations. After interviewing adult witnesses they started Operation Fernbridge to look solely at the Elm. Ms Moss said of last week’s police raid: “They were friendly enough but I thought it was heavy handed and a complete violation of my ­privacy.” The Met said on Friday: “The investigation will be led by the Child Abuse Investigation Command. "The allegations under Operation Fernbridge were initially assessed under Operation Fairbank, which was from information passed to police by Mr Tom Watson.” The MP said: “I believe a great injustice was done in the 1980s. "To stop something like this happening again I am asking victims to summon the courage to come forward now. “Whatever has happened in the past your voices will be heard now. “You can contact the police. Or if you feel more comfortable you can contact me directly.” EdwinaWaugh

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree