Story from the Oxford Mail by Pete Hughes

  • by steven light
  • 04 Oct, 2017

Good Samaritans

GOOD Samaritans have come to the aid of an 84-year-old stroke survivor who was conned out of £150 by a doorstep rogue trader.

Pest controller Mike Light is one of several people who have rallied to help the Wantage pensioner targeted by a cowardly criminal.

He has now offered to fix for free the fence that she thought she was paying to get repaired.

Mr Light, who lives in Berinsfield and works for Shire Pest Solutions , said: "I saw the story on Facebook and I just couldn't believe it.

"I still can't believe there are people doing that sort of thing in this day and age.

"I've done a bit of fencing before and I just thought it would be nice to give something back."

Mr Light spotted to the story on Facebook after it was shared by Val Prior, founder and manager of Didcot's Changing Lives charity shop .

She heard the story first hand because the lady - whom the charity wanted to remain anonymous - came into the shop at the end of September and told staff how she had been conned.

Mrs Prior, who lives in East Hendred, said: "This lady comes into the shop every week, and she's just had a stroke in which she lost the use of her arm.

"When she came in that Tuesday she told us that a man came to the door asking if she wanted any work done.

"She said she wanted her fence repaired, and gave him £150 straight away. He said he'd come back with the tools later, but of course he never came back.

"I told her she had to go to the police, and she said to us 'I don't want to because it's my own stupid fault', and we said 'no it isn't'."

Listening to the story in the shop happened to be a former police employee who immediately went and fetched two local constables who made an official report.

Mrs Prior then gave the woman £150 from the charity's reserves, which are there to help local people in need.

She said: "She tried to give it back to us the following week but we told her 'you need it more than us'."

Mrs Prior also shared the story on Facebook mostly to warn people in Wantage and the surrounding area not to fall victim to the same conman.

She explained: "I live on my own and I've got my wits about me but we can all be hoodwinked.

"We are all vulnerable and if that happened to my mum or dad it would break my heart."

It was Mrs Prior's Facebook post that Mr Light spotted, and immediately offered his own services free of charge.

He popped over to the woman's house on Saturday to start work on finally fixing the fence.

Mrs Prior added: "It's that sort of gesture that really restores your faith in humanity."
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