Purrfect ending to cruel conman tale
Vale gran’s joy as big-hearted locals step in to fix her garden
A Vale gran is beaming after big-hearted residents rallied round her to fix her garden which was destroyed by a greedy conman.
Pat Whittaker, from Tullichewan, has been left overwhelmed by the generosity of landscaping firms across the area who scrambled to contact her after the Lennox Herald revealed her plight.
Last week we told how the 70-year-old disabled gran was fleeced out of £600 and left almost housebound after being targeted by a bogus workman.
He promised he would fix her garden before digging it up and disappearing without a trace.
The criminal even drove her to a cash machine so he could pocket the cash, which she told him she had saved for a holiday.
Outraged landscapers across the area contacted the Lennox Herald last week to offer their services to Pat free of charge.
And on Monday Alan Arthur and his team from Great E Scapes worked their magic, spending the morning transforming the land from a muddy mess into a garden she is now proud of.
Pat said: “I’m delighted. If I could run and skip I would.
“It looks absolutely fantastic and I can’t thank Alan and the boys enough for doing it. They worked non-stop and completed it within the morning.
“The reaction from everyone has been unbelievable and I want to give a huge thank you to Great E Scapes and all the lovely people across the Vale who have stopped me to say they are sorry for what has happened. Everyone has been wonderful.”
Even Pat’s cat Toby gave the new garden his seal of approval, posing on the steps for our photographer on Monday.
Explaining how the kindhearted offer came about, Pat said: “Alan got in touch and offered to do it all for me for free. He read the story in the Lennox Herald and got in touch with my daughter that night.
“Another couple of firms also got in touch. It’s absolutely wonderful.”
Remembering the conman, she said: “It makes you realise that the world is not full of people like that. “There’s far more of us than there are of them.
“I’m looking forward to going to the garden centre and getting some lovely potted plants for my new garden.”
Alan Arthur, who owns Tullichewan-based Great E Scapes, said he did not think twice about contacting Pat when he read the story in the Lennox Herald.
He said: “I did Pat’s garden about seven or eight years ago and when I read the paper I recognised her straight away.
“The fact they have left the garden in the state they did, leaving a disabled woman with no access, is despicable.
“I told her we would do the labour for free and Jewson in Dumbarton offered to provide the materials for free.
“She’s already lost a lot of money so there was no way we were taking any more from her.”
He added: “It’s sad because people hear about these kind of stories and it automatically gives landscapers a bad name.
“I see it happen time and time again, terrible people taking advantage of those who are vulnerable and elderly.
“They shouldn’t be taking a penny until the job is completely finished.”
Gerry Kelly Landscaping and Building Works in Dumbarton also got in touch with Pat to offer their services after owner Gerry read the article.
He said: “It’s terrible what’s happened to her and I don’t know how these people can sleep at night.
“It’s ridiculous how anybody can do that to somebody. The terrifying thing is that it could have happened to anybody.
“We are glad there will hopefully be a happy ending.”
And charity West Dunbartonshire Environment Trust also offered to step in to see if they could help.
Manager Alan McMullen phoned the Lennox Herald last week, saying: “We help regenerate disadvantaged communities and work with groups but we were saddened by the story and wanted to see if we could help in any way.”
Hard workers Alan and his team (right with Pat) transformed the garden. Now that it looks great, Pat and her cat Toby can enjoy it again (below) Ideal fur me Pat’s cat Toby checks out the new stairs in the revamped garden