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Hero Scots nurse left with huge crater in garden by building firm at centre of cop probe

September 27, 2021


A nurse who won a Pride of Britain award has been left with a crater in her garden after handing all her savings to a building firm now being probed by police.

Agnes Malcolmson has been left with a crater where her conservatory should be after handing £9200 to 1A Contracts.

She is one of dozens of customers who have paid out thousands to the Glasgow -based firm in recent months but been left with nothing.

A dossier has been compiled by Trading Standards after being contacted by scores of families who paid deposits thought to total about £250,000.

Staff nurse Agnes, who tackled a man who set himself alight in hospital, should have been enjoying the summer in her new conservatory after working hard on the frontline during the Covid-19 crisis.

Agnes, 61, from Glasgow’s Carntyne, has been left with a huge hole covered by old boards after reluctantly writing off the £9200 she paid out to 1A.

1A director Stephen Hughes

She said: “This was supposed to be helping me de-stress but I’ve been going off my head. I’m really depressed about it.

“I’m not going to let 1A kid me on any more. I’m not stupid and I know I’m not going to get anything back. The police have been out to me and took a statement.”

In 2014, Agnes received ­accolades, including a Pride of Britain Outstanding Bravery award, after she and hospital worker Danny Turner ­overpowered a man who walked into Glasgow Royal Infirmary, set himself on fire and headed towards a maternity ward.

Agnes hurled him to the floor before battling to put the fire out, saving his life.

When she picked up her award, she told host Carol Vorderman: “My only thought was for the safety of the babies.”

Agnes arrives for a Pride of Britain reception at Number 10 Downing Street with Prime Minister David Cameron

Now working in a care home, Agnes said she had been left in turmoil over her ­dealings with 1A. She added: “I signed the contract in April and handed over £9200 in two instalments.

“It was supposed to be done for the end of July for me to relax in, but I’ve just got a big U-shaped hole with a base of cement.”

It was meant to double up as an extra room for Agnes to sleep in because she has given up her bedroom to her 18-year-old daughter, who has learning difficulties, and is bedding down in her living room.

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We told in August how Trading Standards was probing 1A and we were then contacted by a string of customers. One said they had paid £20,000 for an extension but were left with only partial foundations.

Others told us they had alerted police after the firm’s website and social media was shut down amid a barrage of negative online reviews.

One dad, from Fife, said he paid more than £8000 for a new sunroom and a mum from Aberdeenshire paid more than £7000 for an extension – neither of which was started.

Trading Standards said complaints included allegations of “poor workmanship, failure to commence or complete work, failure to provide refunds when requested and the ­provision of misleading ­information”.

Agnes receiving her award

1A director Stephen Hughes, 42, has left a trail of misery for years, with dozens of customers claiming in 2014 that they have lost cash through his heating firm Green Deal Rewards.

He went on trial in 2018 accused of offences in the north-east and Highlands linked to Celsius Energy ­Solutions but the case was thrown out after a sheriff ruled only a handful of charges could be put to a jury.

Hughes told us Trading Standards had “sought to destroy” his latest firm when it contacted his customers earlier this year, leading to a string of jobs being cancelled.

He said Brexit and Covid had caused delays in some projects but the firm had been managing the issue. He insisted his accounts were due to be closed next month but was adamant he is not closing the business.

He said: “I cannot return funds to anybody, not only because I don’t know who these people are and what the basis of their complaint is, I am simply unable to access all the relevant areas of my business due to this investigation.”

Police Scotland confirmed it is investigating reports of “alleged fraudulent activity” against 1A Contracts.

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