On 8th December 2017 my severely disabled friend had his boat moored in Lymm village in Cheshire. It is a small 24' plastic Norman cruiser but it was his home. His boat was stolen making him homeless in the freezing cold 2 weeks before Christmas.
He contacted Canal and River Trust and they said they had not seen the boat. So he contacted The Bridgewater Canal Company who also said they had not seen the boat. So he reported the boat missing to the police and to his insurers. For several weeks and well into the new year he heard nothing and was forced to live on the streets in arctic conditions.
Then he was contacted by his insurers who told him that Bridgewater Canal Company had confirmed they had taken the boat but they did not supply their legal authority to do so.
I managed to get a solicitor to write to them and they lied numerous times and issued and fraudulent bill for the craft to be returned. Unfortunately it came to the point that the solicitor could not help as the case had to go to court and they were unable to support him further without payment.
The fact of the matter is that this egregious and totally unscrupulous company, or it's representatives, took the vessel with absolutely no legal authority what so ever. And in the meantime he has been reliant on the charity and good will of friends and relatives to keep a roof over his head.
We need funds to begin legal action against the company and to begin private prosecutions against the officers and sub contractors. The company is also perpetrating a massive fraud and has been doing for 30 years, netting them £15-20m over the period. We are hoping that once the case comes to court that this fraud will be highlighted and further prosecutions will ensue.