Fundraising campaign is launched for 91-year-old Frogmore victim of rogue trader
PUBLISHED: 10:00 15 August 2020
Geoff Cunliffe is 91 and lives in squalor. His roof is caving in and floods with oceans of water every time it rains.
The rain cascades down the walls in every room. Wallpaper is peeling off everywhere and black mould greets him wherever he walks.
Upstairs is so dangerous Geoff cannot go to bed and has to sleep in a chair downstairs. He has fallen twice because of debris that has come crashing down and the whole house is a danger to his health.
This is not Geoff’s fault. This is how he was left after paying thousands to a cowboy builder to have the house insulated. The builder, Adam Roberts, was jailed for three years in June, but he has left fragile Geoff in a crumbling prison of his own.
His insurance company have refused to pay him out because he is only covered for storm damage and the local authority has offered him a £5,000 grant... only when work is completed.
Now Geoff, of Frogmore, has one hope - three caring friendly neighbours, Liz and Jim Mansell and Barbara Meszaros, who have set up a crowdfunding page to try and raise £30,000 to make his home habitable before winter comes.
Even his local Neighbourhood Watch, Park Street, are also offering their help but it is going to take a major effort by fund-raisers to get from the current couple of thousand to the five figure sum needed.
“Seeing Geoff in his current position is heartbreaking,” said Barbara. “His health is suffering and he is trapped in a house that is a potential death trap.
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“We knew nothing about it until we asked Geoff if he wanted any shopping done while he was isolating. It was then we discovered the horrendous conditions he was living in.
“No-one should have to live in conditions like this not least a 91 year old man. None of this was his fault but he is the one paying the price just because he thought he was hiring a competent builder.
“Geoff has already had two falls and because it is so dangerous he is forced tosleep in a chair downstairs. This has been going on for eight months and we are nowhere near to either getting the money or getting a builder to offer their services free.”
Originally Geoff hired builders with the intention of having insulation fitted into his roof. However the job was completed badly leaving all tiles on his roof lifted which now allows water to seep into the house every time it rains.
When Barbara tried to contact the builders she discovered the company has gone bust and the owner has been jailed. Now Geoff has been left in a situation where he is now living in a house that is inevitably causing problems for his health and is virtually crumbling.
There isn’t a single room that is not affected by water damage and black mould including his own bedroom.
He no longer has the ability to afford repairs nor does he have any relatives to support him financially.
Barbara said: “We urge anyone to help us support Geoff in getting the repairs done as soon as possible. Winter is just around the corner and if he is forced to live like this through the winter we fear for his health. It’s heartbreaking to see the damage that scammers can cause to people’s lives and we would be eternally grateful if for anything to amend this.”
You can donate by clicking the GoFund Me link: https://gf.me/u/yn7urk
Adam Roberts, 34, from Bournemouth pleaded guilty to fraudulently misleading often elderly people across the south of England by encouraging them to buy home insulation. He was sentenced at Guildford Crown Court in June. Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards took on the case following complaints about Eco Energy Advice Limited, which Roberts ran despite having been disqualified from being a company director.
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