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‘I haven’t slept in weeks’ - disabled man’s shock after losing hundreds in gardening scam

PUBLISHED: 15:55 16 October 2020 | UPDATED: 08:56 17 October 2020

Terence Sawyer from Lowestoft has been left out of pocket by tradesmen who took money for tree work in his garden which was not completed.
Picture by: Sonya Duncan

Terence Sawyer from Lowestoft has been left out of pocket by tradesmen who took money for tree work in his garden which was not completed. Picture by: Sonya Duncan

(C) Archant 2020

An 82-year-old man says he has not been able to sleep in weeks after being targeted in what he believes is a “high level” scam.

Terence Sawyer from Lowestoft has been left out of pocket by tradesmen who took money for tree work in his garden which was not completed.
Picture by: Sonya DuncanTerence Sawyer from Lowestoft has been left out of pocket by tradesmen who took money for tree work in his garden which was not completed. Picture by: Sonya Duncan

Terence Sawyer, lives on Hall Road in Lowestoft where in July this year three men knocked on his door claiming to be from a local gardening services company.

The men offered to cut down several trees in Mr Sawyer’s garden for £900. Mr Sawyer accepted and said that the men did a good job clearing his garden.

Last Friday, October 9, one of the same men knocked on Mr Sawyer’s door, offering to cut down at tree at the back of his garden for £500.

Mr Sawyer said he accepted the offer due to their previous good work.

Terence Sawyer from Lowestoft has been left out of pocket by tradesmen who took money for tree work in his garden which was not completed.
Picture by: Sonya DuncanTerence Sawyer from Lowestoft has been left out of pocket by tradesmen who took money for tree work in his garden which was not completed. Picture by: Sonya Duncan

The following day, the man was accompanied by his father, who took Mr Sawyer to the back of the garden and asked him for £250 payment upfront, which he paid.

But having started the work, Mr Sawyer was shocked to see the men leave.

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“They were half way through cutting the trees down and suddenly they got into the van and drove off,” he said.

Terence Sawyer from Lowestoft has been left out of pocket by tradesmen who took money for tree work in his garden which was not completed.
Picture by: Sonya DuncanTerence Sawyer from Lowestoft has been left out of pocket by tradesmen who took money for tree work in his garden which was not completed. Picture by: Sonya Duncan

“I feel terrible. I haven’t slept in weeks. I’m disabled and losing money is another thing to worry about.

“I went to the police who said it was a civil matter and despite having information regarding the make, colour and registration number of the vehicle, they refused to do anything.”

The company were contacted by this newspaper for comment on the issue on a number given to Mr Sawyer.

A man answered the phone who said he was not affiliated with them, and that the company name was being falsely used. He did not want to comment further.

A spokesperson for Suffolk Trading Standards confirmed that it is making further enquiries about this business in liason with Suffolk Police.

They said: “Our advice remains to never deal with traders at your front door, or with anyone who turns up at your home out of the blue.”

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: “Reports of fraud are centrally managed at a national level through Action Fraud - each case will be reviewed to determine whether other agencies such as Trading Standards are best placed to investigate due to their powers or relevant legislation.

“We understand that fraud has a significant impact both on individuals and businesses and work hard to understand this and support victims during investigations.”


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