WHEN Ben Blake heard that a woman had been left high and dry after a building company ruined her front garden, he knew exactly what to do.
The 22-year-old had just been laid off from a landscaping firm and was wondering what do with his new found free time.
So when his girlfriend, a carer for an elderly lady, told him about a Fareham woman who had been ripped off by a firm which had promised to turn her front garden into a brick driveway, he decided to step in a sort it out
The 61-year-old victim from Fareham handed over £2,200 to the rogues.
But they took off with the cash after starting work, leaving her front garden ruined.
The rogue builders had turned up at her door on several occasions and used charm to persuade the lady, who lives by herself, to take out a five-year loan to fund the driveway. The victim is so scared of becoming a further target for other crooks that she did not want The News to name her.
Ben said: ‘I worked for a company for three years and they laid me off because one of the family members had died.
‘They couldn’t pay me, just handed me a £20 note, so I came straight to this.
‘I’m trying to take the first steps forward to open my own company and this seemed like a way to help out someone in need.’
Ben came to the woman’s rescue and started work immediately, spending more than a week by himself carrying out the back-breaking task of restoring her front garden to a brick driveway.
The woman bought the bricks and didn’t have any money left over, so Ben carried out all the work for free.
Something he didn’t mind doing, knowing that it was for a good cause.
Ben said: ‘I couldn’t have her walking on what it was like.
‘It was just pure rubble.
‘She could’ve gone over and injured herself.
‘She has grandkids that play out here too.
‘My heart went out to her even though I had never met her before and I thought “why not?”.’
Ben, of London Road, Waterlooville, hopes to set up his own firm called B.T. Blake’s Drive and Landscaping.
He said: ‘I’ve done training in driveways and landscaping.
‘I’ve also done painting and decorating but this is what I like doing best, laying drives.’
The company has been reported to the police and officers have launched an investigation.