AN elderly couple who became embroiled in a row with a skip company suffered more heartache when the firm dumped rubbish and broken glass on their drive.

Suzanne Roberts, 77, paid Darwen Windows £10,000 for a new conservatory in October but the company went bust, leaving them with a half-built conservatory.

Mrs Roberts and her husband were left with a skip full of rubbish on their drive, which A1 Skip-Hire refused to remove unless they paid them £156.

Mrs Roberts’ son Ric said his parents, who have lived on Lisbon Drive, Darwen, for around 35 years, have been battling with A1 Skip-Hire, based in Clayton-le-Moors, for almost a year.

He said: “First they lost the money on the conservatory and then a full skip from the job was left sitting on the drive and Darwen Windows haven’t paid for it.

“A1 Skip-Hire kept asking my mum for payment and I called then numerous times and explained the situation but they said it wasn’t their responsibility and my mum should pay, otherwise they would dump all the rubbish on my mum’s drive - which includes loads of broken glass - and take the skip back.”

At around 9pm on Wednesday, A1 Skip-Hire followed through with their threat and emptied the skip across the couple’s driveway and onto the road, before driving off with the empty skip.

Mr Roberts said: “A1 should have recouped the cost of the skip from Darwen Windows via the liquidators.

“However, they didn’t, and the most we got from them was advice to contact the administrators for a refund if we paid them in full first.”

Mr Roberts said all the commotion unsettled his father, who is 89 and suffers with dementia.

He continued: “Again, this is a strain on my mum, who is a full-time carer with no escape because they’re in isolation at the moment."

A team from Blackburn with Darwen Council turned out on Thursday and cleared away the mess.

Mr Roberts said: “The council were brilliant."

“That’s not the point though, it’s really unfair and really bad business practice to do what they’ve done.

“First off to ask us to pay for the hire of the skip after the window company went bust and to then act as brash as they have done by dumping the stuff all over an elderly couple’s drive at 9pm is really bad.

“A1 Skip-Hire were actually offered payment in full by a family member a few weeks ago, and they refused to accept that payment and decided to take this action instead.”

Executive member for environment at Blackburn with Darwen Council, Cllr Jim Smith, said: “I would say to anyone to be careful which skip hire firm you use as there are a lot of rogue companies out there and the cheapest one is not always the best one.”

A1 Skip-Hire were contacted for a statement, and said: “We are afraid this had become a civil matter, and due to this we are limited to the information we can share, however we are able to confirm that we had many communications with Mr Roberts (son) to deal with the issue in the correct and proper manner, however they have refused to pay any amounts to contribute to the removal and disposal of the waste, and told us to leave the skip and contents there.

“After over nine months of this skip being delivered to the address, we had to bring this matter to an end, and after contacting Mr Roberts about collecting the skip (our property), giving him notice of completing the collection and doing as requested of leaving it there, due to the lack of response either by phone or by email about our intentions, we collected the skip, and left the contents there, as requested by Mr Roberts.

“We are sorry for any upset or distress caused to Mr Roberts’ parents and their neighbours, however after exploring all legal avenues available to us, this very tough decision had to be made,” the statement said.