Grieving victims of bankrupt Skegness firm urged to register as creditors

Stone masons have helped provide gravestones for the grieving victims of Skegness firm Simply Memorials.
Stone masons have helped provide gravestones for the grieving victims of Skegness firm Simply Memorials.

Grieving victims of a Skegness masonry company, which took hundreds of thousands of pounds for headstones it failed to deliver have been advised how to reclaim their owed money.

Lincolnshire Trading Standards has advised Simply Memorials’ aggrieved customers that the company has ceased trading and an official receiver appointed to handle their claims.

The mourning relatives have been urged to register as a creditor with Robin Jury at the Insolvency Service as soon as possible.

Trading Standards officers are also continuing their consultation with the business after the total amount owed to its 176 victims reached £220,000.

A spokesperson said: “If Trading Standards receives a pattern of complaints, which appear to harm the collective interests of consumers, appropriate action can be taken under the Enterprise Act 2002 to obtain an enforcement order.”

A campaign group formed by victims of Simply Memorials has been carrying out its own attempts to attain justice for its members and has been overwhelmed by the generosity of other stonemasons which have offered free and discounted headstones to the grieving families, restoring their faith in the industry.

Roger Bennett, a leading figure behind the Simply Memorials RIP Off group, hopes the ongoing investigations by multiple authorities will help find justice for the rest of the victims.

He said: “We’ve been going for two months and things are starting to develop so we’ve got our fingers crossed that action will be taken because what’s happened is totally wrong.”

The victims’ campaign gained national media coverage as dozens of tales filled with anguish and heartache came thick and fast from across the country.

The Daily Mirror recently collared Simply Memorials owner David Blakey outside the Insolvency Office in Nottingham to ask him whether he had any message for the families who had suffered because of his failure to deliver the gravestones.

Mr Blakey was reported to have ‘uttered not a single syllable and stalked away.’

Simply Memorials RIP Off spokesperson Darren Harvey told the Mirror he was disgusted by Mr Blakey’s refusal to answer.

He said: “If this was a legitimate company he would have shown his deepest regret and compassion towards everyone, however his refusal to answer any questions speaks volumes.”

Simply Memorials Rip Off has also set up a donation account so the families can finally mark their loved ones’ graves.

Visit Simply Memorials Rip Off to donate.

Simply Memorials’ victims can contact Mr Jury at the Insolvency Office on 0115 8525006.