Police team up with businesses to help Des, 93, on Valentine's Day

Johnny Arbuckle, manager of Homebase, with PC Sam Emsley

Johnny Arbuckle, manager of Homebase, with PC Sam Emsley

First published in Local news Ilkley Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

A Valentine’s Day good deed will be carried out tomorrow to help a 93-year-old Otley man.

The area’s Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) had originally been called in to investigate the chopping down of trees at the back of Desmond Fox’s house on Cambridge Drive.

The removal of the trees left the pensioner’s garden exposed and caused his shed, which had been resting against them, to collapse.

The police decided the matter was a civil rather than a criminal one, so did not take the investigation further, but were determined to lend a helping hand to Mr Fox, who uses a disability scooter and is partially deaf.

So they appealed to businesses to help supply materials and, tomorrow, will put up a new fence to make his home feel secure again.

Otley-based NPT member PC Sam Emsley said: “We had a look at the garden and it was quite a mess, with numerous stumps left exposed. It looked like the person who had chopped the trees down had used a chainsaw.

“As a result, Des’s garden shed fell down as it was propped up against the trees and he had to pay someone £100 to come and dismantle it. Des did seek some advice from a solicitor, but they told him he would have to have the fence repaired or replaced himself.

“When we spoke to him he was very distressed and did not know where to turn to sort it out. I decided to see if I could get the local businesses to help by donating the materials to replace the fence and put a new one up to make his garden secure.”

B&TS Builders Merchants in Otley responded by donating four fence panels while Homebase, at Moor Allerton, Leeds, supplied five fence posts and post mix.

Aireborough & Wharfedale NPT Inspector Richard Coldwell praised PC Emsley and her colleagues.

He said: “They are doing a really wonderful thing for a deserving elderly man, with the support of some local businesses who also deserve a big mention.”

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