TREE surgeons pulled together to help clear the garden of an elderly man who was conned out of thousands of pounds.

Three men, from Billericay, got to work fixing the garden of the 76-year-old from Pitsea, after he was stitched up by a cowboy clearance company.

Jamie Hilton, 27, owner of tree surgeon and garden maintenance firm JH Services, rallied a team of three and worked over the weekend to restore the garden.

The targeted man had responded to a leaflet posted through his door to clear his yard of trees and stumps, and he paid £3,600 up front in cash.

Mr Hilton, explained: “The previous company left the garden in a disgraceful state.

“It was a real mess. I couldn’t bring myself to charge this poor guy another penny.

“Colin’s Joinery, a Colchester business, heard what was going on and lent us equipment we would normally have had to have hired in.

“I can’t not mention James Silk as he donated a pint and a roast dinner at the end of the job for me and the boys too! I’m not sure there will ever be a better tasting beer!

“You can’t help but think our older neighbours are targeted for slapdash work.

“I’ve stopped posting leaflets out to introduce myself because this is how these fraudsters are targeting people.

“I wouldn’t ask for a penny until the work is complete and my client is happy.”

The 76-year-old said: “What a great bloke Jamie is.

“I’ve got to see more of my garden than I’ve ever seen after 50 years living here.

“I was so overwhelmed that there are still some nice people around.

“It has fully restored my faith in people, Jamie was such a nice man, and the nice lads with him were so polite and hardworking. It was amazing. My biggest thanks goes to them.”

Trading Standards was contacted for a comment about the firm who initially did the work.