Rogue traders and tragic ends for roofers

Weekly Industry Recap: week ending 7 Mar 2013:

This week it seems that no one is safe, what with reports of rogue traders victimising innocent home owners – and a good Samaritan roofer meeting a tragic end.

First up in this cavalcade of tragedy is the story of how cold callers are ranging far and wide in the unitary authority of Thurrock, posing as roofers and swindling thousands of pounds out of credulous home owners after telling them that they need home repairs. Things have gotten so bad that Thurrock Council has actually issued warnings to local residents to not give any of these cold callers the time of day.

There’s already been one recent scam that took place, leading to a woman paying a so-called ‘roofer’ around £6,500 to carry out work on her home, only to have the rogue trader up and disappear, leaving the poor woman twisting in the wind and several thousand pounds out of pocket. Thurrock Council representatives have been working hard to prevent other residents from being victimised, but I feel terrible for the poor woman who was swindled out of so much of her cash – not only is that cash needed to live in the current economy but antics like this are exactly how roofers end up with an un-earned poor reputation!

Speaking of reaping rewards that you don’t deserve, another even more tragic story made its way across my radar this week that involved a roofer actually losing his life in an altercation where he was acting as a good Samaritan. 25 year old Luke Fitzpatrick had been out for a few pints at his local pub in Dollis Hill with his father to watch the Champions League Final only to have his evening interrupted when a masked mob poured in, armed to the teeth and looking to settle a score from a previous altercation at a nearby shop that had nothing to do with either Luke or his father, 56 year old Bernard.

Luke leapt up at the sight of an unruly mob of idiots barging into the pub and looking for a fight, and he allied with a few other people in routing them from the establishment.  The young roofer pursued them out of the pub but was confronted with at least one knife-wielding masked man, who then attacked Luke, wounding him fatally. His father rushed to Luke’s aid, only to suffer several stab wounds himself as well; luckily the older man didn’t lose his life, though he did in fact lose his son.

It’s a terrible tragedy, and poor Luke’s family now has to cope with quite a serious loss. I can only hope the bastards that did this (and the police have several men in custody and awating trial for their alleged involvement) end up facing severe sentences.


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