“We contracted Ben, a friend of my daughter’s and co-director of B&D Construction, to build a granny annexe for us. We thought we could trust him, but we were so wrong.

Nothing was fit for purpose – the roof was at risk of collapse, the main wall was not tied into the existing build, the windows were put in wrong way round – and much more.

We started to question where the money was going. When we challenged this, they walked away from the job. We had by then paid over £56,000.

I went to Kidderminster police station. We sent Trading Standards everything, including screenshots of messages where the builders discussed what to tell us about the missing money. We traced five other victims of the firm.

But trading standards claimed they did not have ‘proof beyond all reasonable doubt’, and just issued a warning letter. The company is now dissolved and the directors have ‘done a bunk’. How that help anyone – it’s only £13.99 to register a new company!

How could successive public servants fail to take action? The reason we work and pay taxes is so that we can live safe and secure in our homes, with our families. The total lack of regulatory control makes this a farce.

Mum now has no life-savings left. The security my dad worked all his life for – to provide for mum – is gone.”