A pensioner has recently been reported to have committed suicide after cowboy builders demanded £300,000 for the repointing of a chimney.
Leaving a heartbreaking suicide note for his sister, the 65-year-old “finally snapped” before taking his own life. Within the note, he described that “I really could not see the job getting finished in my lifetime and therefore I have taken the selfish way out.”
It was heard that Colin Juffs had hired the contractors to repoint his chimney. But, within weeks, the workers were demanding £300,000 for additional work. He described in his note that he had been scammed in a “clever” way, with the workers claiming that each job was necessary before they could complete what was needed. Remortgaging his house to pay for the £172,000 job, Mr Juffs “finally snapped” when an additional £125,000 was added to the bill.
After ending his life, Mr Juffs was found by his sister Paula. She described that after not hearing from him for a few days, she grew concerned. Therefore, she went to check on him. Unfortunately, what she found was her dear brother’s body and a suicide note that spoke directly to her. He ended the note with: “I am sorry it ended this way. I will love you always.”
Ms Juffs described: “We were so close.”
“I knew in my heart something was wrong so we came down.”
Alongside his suicide note, Mr Juffs had also set out an array of paperwork and personal details including his passport and identity documents. The paperwork detailed the work that had been done by the conmen builders along with documents of his estate and his funeral, which he had already paid for.
He recommended that his sister let lawyers deal with the house. And, he detailed in in his note how important it was that his sister not spend any money on the house. And apologised that there would be very little remaining from the sale.
After discovering her brother’s body last July, Ms Juffs called paramedics. However, they could not determine an exact time of death. Senior coroner Mr Walker has now ruled a conclusion of suicide though. And, police are also investigating the events that lead up to this tragic incident.
Ms Juffs described: “My brother was an intelligent and very proud man.”
“He could not have faced his friends in the knowledge that he had been the victim of a scam.”
“If he could be scammed like that, then anyone could be.”
She added: “He had been thinking of moving house and so wanted to get the chimney repointed.”
“But within just a couple of months, the cost of the building work had escalated to almost £300,000.”
“My brother clearly believed he had been scammed.”
“We believe the builders were conmen using the name of a real building firm.”
She continued: “I want this to be publicised because this could happen to anyone.”
“People can be conned no matter how sensible they seem.”
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