When news happens, text BAZ and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Family left angry and frustrated
THEY wanted a headstone to remember their late mum. But they have been left out of pocket and feeling angry and frustrated.
Andrew Larcome, of Heather Lane, Nately Scures, and his two brothers paid £1,060 to Simply Memorials for a headstone to mark the grave of their mother Rita Ann Larcome.
The 71-year-old mum, from the Isle of Wight, died from cancer in 2011 and was buried in a cemetery in Farnborough.
The memorial company, based in Skegness, Lincolnshire, promised to supply the headstone 12 weeks after the payment was made on June 27 last year when Mr Larcome ordered it on the company’s website.
But no headstone came, and when Mr Larcome tried to contact the company by email and telephone, he did not get a response.
He has since received a letter to say that the company has ceased trading and that its owner, David Blakey, would be filing for bankruptcy.
Mr Larcome said: “It’s absolutely gutting especially when you think that we’re talking about a headstone.
“It is absolutely devastating. It’s bad enough that my dad has no money and me and my brothers had to pay for it.”
At the end of last month, the 47-year-old window cleaner drove to Skegness to try to find Mr Blakey.
He said the company address for Simply Memorials looked closed, and there was no answer at Mr Blakey’s address in nearby New Leake.
Mr Larcome said: “I have contacted the police and they said they cannot do anything about it, and I rang Lincolnshire Trading Standards, who gave me a reference number. We are now just waiting to see the outcome of the bankruptcy process.”
The website for Simply Memorials was unavailable when The Gazette tried to access it.
In a recent article in the Skegness Standard, Mr Blakey said: “Obviously, I deeply regret being unable to fulfil any outstanding orders, and I apologise to those customers.
“I understand how angry and upset they must be, especially due to the nature of the business, but I certainly have not scammed anyone and have not run away, as claimed.”
He added that he would inform customers with outstanding orders who the receiver of the bankruptcy file will be, so they can claim as a creditor.
Lincolnshire Trading Standards confirmed to The Gazette that they are investigating the company after receiving 20 complaints from around the country.