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JustGiving page set up to raise money fake gardener stole from 83-year-old Hornchurch grandmother

PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 June 2018 | UPDATED: 10:09 08 June 2018

Jean Hurley, 83, was conned out of her life savings by a man posing to be a gardener. He stole �8,000 from her home. Photo: Melissa Page

Jean Hurley, 83, was conned out of her life savings by a man posing to be a gardener. He stole �8,000 from her home. Photo: Melissa Page

Archant

A man posing as a fake gardener was caught on CCTV as he stole £8,000 from the 83-year-old from Hornchurch.

CCTV footage of the conman who stole £8,000 from 83-year-old Jean Hurley who lives in Hornchurch. Photo: Andrew Hurley.CCTV footage of the conman who stole £8,000 from 83-year-old Jean Hurley who lives in Hornchurch. Photo: Andrew Hurley.

A crowdfunding page has been set up to try and raise the money that was stolen by a conman from an 83-year-old grandmother from Hornchurch.

A man posing as a fake gardener was caught on CCTV as he stole the life savings of Jean Hurley.

Mrs Hurley answered the door to a man who said that he had been carrying out work outside her home, and within 20 minutes he had forced the elderly woman into handing over £8,000 as he jumped the fence to escape.

Mario Kyprianou, 32, from Harold Hill set up the page and just wanted to let Mrs Hurley know “there are some good people left in the world.”

Jean Hurley, 83, and her son Andrew Hurley, 46. Jean was conned out of her life savings by a man posing to be a gardener. He stole �8,000 from her home. Photo: Melissa PageJean Hurley, 83, and her son Andrew Hurley, 46. Jean was conned out of her life savings by a man posing to be a gardener. He stole �8,000 from her home. Photo: Melissa Page

He said that he had a similar experience with his grandmother when she was robbed of money by a conman.

“It didn’t take much to set up the page.
“Even if we could just raise enough to give her a little bit of money back that would be great.

“It would be good to build up her self belief because she probably feels like there’s not many good people left in the world.”

As soon as Mario read the story in the Recorder he said that he wanted to do something, and is hoping that enough people can donate that they can raise the £8,000 that was stolen from Jean.

CCTV footage of the conman who stole £8,000 from 83-year-old Jean Hurley who lives in Hornchurch. Photo: Andrew Hurley.CCTV footage of the conman who stole £8,000 from 83-year-old Jean Hurley who lives in Hornchurch. Photo: Andrew Hurley.

To donate to the fund visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/mario-kyprianou

Jean’s son, Andrew Hurley told the Recorder: “It is a lovely gesture.

“We’ve had a fantastic response and even more people have shared the story.”

Andrew said that his mum had answered the door to the postman the other day and she told him what had happened, and then just a few hours later he came back with a big bouquet of flowers to cheer her up.

Jean Hurley, 83, was conned out of her life savings by a man posing to be a gardener. He stole �8,000 from her home. Photo: Melissa PageJean Hurley, 83, was conned out of her life savings by a man posing to be a gardener. He stole �8,000 from her home. Photo: Melissa Page

He said: “He didn’t have to do that at all, but it does restore your faith that there are some good people out there.”

On Friday (June 1) at around 12.25pm a man knocked on Jean’s door, and said that he had been cutting down branches and mowing the grass outside of her home.

The man then demanded payment from Mrs Hurley even though she was adament that she hadn’t asked for the work to be carried out.

CCTV footage shows that the man then pushes past Mrs Hurley and into her home, where he started looking around her bedroom on the ground floor.

After asking what he was doing the man then demands money from the 83-year-old, and feeling “scared for her life” she handed over £8,000 in cash.

At first she said she had no money to give him, but when pressed by the conman she went to get some cash from her bag.

He then told her that the money she offered him wasn’t enough, and wanted more.

This lead to Mrs Hurley getting a bag of her savings from her bedroom and in the end handed over £8,000 in cash to the stranger.

The money was made up of her life savings, along with insurance money that she had received after her husband Roy died in 2013.

After being handed the cash the conman jumped her fence in the garden and ran away with the money.

Speaking to the Recorder after the incident Mrs Hurley, who used to work in a perfume factory in Stratford said: “I’m still in shock now.

“I’m lucky to be alive.

“I’m frightened to live.

“I haven’t left the house since it happened and I don’t know when I will.

“I can’t believe it happened to me.

“I can’t sleep, every time I hear a little noise I’m frightened.

“I know now that I should have called someone when it was happening but I was just terrified.”

The Met Police have said that no arrests have been made and that enquiries are ongoing.

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