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Kind tradesmen repair roof of duped Strood couple Malcolm and Jill Bishop

It was like a scene from the TV programme DIY SOS where a team of tradesman join forces to carry out essential repairs for homeowners.

When roofing firm boss Lee Austin heard how conmen had fleeced a pensioner couple out of £73,000 savings, he sprung into action.

The tradesman worked on the property last week

The businessman was also incensed the bogus builders had used his name and reputation to trick Malcolm Bishop and his wife Jill.

They were told the roof of their bungalow home in Strood urgently needed mending.

Mr Austin created a GoFundMe page to raise £6,000 – half the amount needed to remedy the devastation left by the three fraudsters.

Then last Thursday, the 11-strong team braved the elements and set to work at the Bishops' River Drive home.

By close of play Friday, they had completed most of the challenge and left Malcolm, 71, and rheumatoid arthritis sufferer Jill, 72, "absolutely delighted".

Lee Austin with Malcolm Bishop and Steve Weeks and the other tradesmen who went along to help
Lee Austin with Malcolm Bishop and Steve Weeks and the other tradesmen who went along to help

Former bank worker Malcolm had confessed to feeling "suicidal" after realising he had been duped of their retirement nest egg.

He said: "It has restored my faith in human nature. Neighbours, friends and complete strangers have offered us help.

"They were a fantastic group of lads. They turned up at 7.30am and got absolutely soaked.

"I certainly feel a lot better now than I did a few weeks ago. It's three-quarters tiled and they are coming back to do the rest one day next week."

Mr Austin, who is managing director of Premier Roof Care, Strood, said: "We reached our target of what we wanted to raise on the GoFundMe page to get all the bits and pieces that we want to put in place for him."

Malcolm Bishop was tricked out of £73,000 to repair his roof
Malcolm Bishop was tricked out of £73,000 to repair his roof

As well as the money raised to cover costs and materials, businesses have come forward to help Lee and his firm re-construct the roof.

Among those which offered to help are RS Skips from Gravesend, Aztec Scaffolding, and All Size Roofing Ltd which will be supplying their men to help get the job done. Top Scaffolding and GRM German Vehicle Services, donated £500 each.

Mr Austin added: "We will be getting it all done for him and it's not going to cost him a penny.

"Now we have raised the full funds, we will be doing his whole roof for him.

"And we have managed to keep the costs down. It's a great example of people pulling together, especially local companies, to help people in need in the community."

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