'Rogue' trader leaves pensioner trapped indoors for months

PUBLISHED: 09:00 23 August 2014

Josephine Reynolds' front garden with the unfinished ramp.

Josephine Reynolds' front garden with the unfinished ramp.

Archant

A PENSIONER says she is trapped in her bungalow after a tradesman who was paid to build a wheelchair ramp left her garden in a mess and the work incomplete.

Josephine Reynolds and her grandson Marc Preece looking out over the front garden with the unfinished ramp.Josephine Reynolds and her grandson Marc Preece looking out over the front garden with the unfinished ramp.

Josephine Reynolds, aged 84, paid £900 in cash to the trader to build the ramp after she returned from a care home.

He spent one day doing the work in July and never returned – leaving his wheelbarrow and tools behind, as well as concrete slabs.

Mrs Reynolds, who lives in Vine Gardens in Worle, has been unable to leave her house ever since.

She said: “I had to pay in cash as I couldn’t provide a cheque as I was waiting for my book to arrive. He took the money and I have never seen him since.

“I cannot put a foot outside the door. I have been home from hospital and nursing homes for three-and-a-half months now.

“And the only way I’m going to get any help and fresh air is if my grandson takes me out in a wheelchair.

“The builder must be taking more money from other people and senior citizens. We don’t deserve this.

“I want to prevent any other innocent people from falling into his trap.

“We worked long hard hours all the years, economised and saved up then you get rogues doing this to people.”

Mrs Reynolds said her health has deteriorated as a result of being stuck inside.

She said: “I notice when people walk past and look at it. It was so lovely when I came here to live. I used to be very house-proud with flowers in the garden.

“It’s so dreadful I could cry. I have cried buckets of tears over this. I kept it so nice and tidy and respectable.”

Avon and Somerset Constabulary has been focusing on the issue of rogue traders in 2014.

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “Rogue traders carry out the ultimate act of betrayal and have a devastating impact.

“Lulling people into a false sense of security before exploiting them is something that will not be tolerated.”

n The Mercury cannot name the builder for legal reasons as there is no police or trading standards investigation ongoing.

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