A 77-YEAR-OLD woman who was left more than £10,000 out of pocket by a window firm after it went bust has been hit with another bill.

Suzanne Roberts paid Darwen Windows £10,000 for a new conservatory back in October.

Her son Ric Roberts said the conservatory was never finished nor was it fit for purpose.

To add insult to injury, Mr Roberts says the couple, who have lived on Lisbon Drive, Darwen, for around 35 years, were then hit with a bill for £156 from A1 Skip-Hire to remove rubbish and a skip from their drive.

Speaking on behalf of his mother, who is a dementia carer for her husband Joseph, 88, Mr Roberts said: “She paid out so much money, the job isn’t even finished and the roof, which isn’t even a proper roof, leaks.

“What makes it worse is there’s still a full skip left over from the job sitting on her drive and Darwen Windows haven’t paid for it.

“The skip company, A1 Skip-Hire, are now asking my mum for payment.

“I’ve called numerous times and explained the situation and sent emails but they say it’s not their responsibility and my mum should pay, otherwise they’re going to dump all the rubbish on my mum's drive - which includes loads of broken glass - and take the skip back.

“My mum cares for my dad and gets hardly anything in her pension.

“She had to take an equity release loan to pay for the conservatory, and has had to pay another £4,000 to make the roof right.

“She just doesn’t have £156 to pay out for something she’s technically already paid for.”

Mr Roberts said A1 Skip-Hire, in Clayton-le-Moors, provided him with proof that Darwen Windows booked the skip but they never paid for it. He added: “My mum and A1 are both victims of the circumstances surrounding the liquidation of Darwen Windows.”

Mr Roberts said A1 should be trying to recoup funds via the liquidator.

But a spokesman for A1 said: “We can confirm that a skip was delivered to an address in Darwen on behalf of Darwen Windows who were to pay us via debit card.

“We have been in contact with Darwen Windows on several occasions to take payment.

“We have had communication with a relative of the householder, and while we sympathise with the position the householder now finds themselves in, we have to ensure that the waste is dealt with in the appropriate manner.

“The producer of the waste has a legal obligation to dispose of their waste in line with the Environment Agency.

“It is our policy not to remove waste from sites without that waste having been paid for and we are still in negotiation regarding the same.

“If the original balance of £156 is paid, we can remove the full skip from the property.”

Mr Roberts also enquired about claiming back the £10,000 paid to Darwen Windows but received this response from a spokesperson for liquidators, Philmore and Co: “Regrettably when a company enters into liquidation it is not able to pay back individual creditors as all creditors must be treated equally.

“The next step is for us to realise the assets of the company and pay a dividend to creditors if funds allow.

“The statement of affairs signed by the director of the company stated the company owned no assets.

“If this is the case I’m afraid there will be no distribution made to unsecured creditors such as yourself.”

Darwen Windows folded in December, leaving staff and creditors out of pocket and out of work.

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Since then, businessman Mark Patrick has re-registered the company name and is now the director of the new Darwen Windows, which is operating as a trades business only.

Mr Patrick has no affiliation with the previous directors of Darwen Windows.