Britain’s ‘kindest plumber’ apologises for ‘fake stories’ utilizing lifeless lady to lift donations | EUROtoday

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

A person dubbed “Britain’s kindest plumber” has been accused of faking heartwarming acts of kindness as he pushes for donations.

Burnley-based tradesman James Anderson, 56, arrange Depher – which stands for Disabled and Elderly, Plumbing and Heating Emergency Response – in 2017, however has now been accused by the BBC of recycling images of the identical lifeless lady in social media posts.

He additionally allegedly repeatedly posted video and pictures of a susceptible man in his nineties publicising details about his sexuality, regardless of the unnamed buyer pleading “God no” when requested if he would conform to be filmed for social media, in accordance with the BBC.

One put up from 12 June 2022, stated: “A lady, 84 years old rang @DepherUK & spoke to myself, she was upset and desperate. She lived 53 miles away in #Preston I drive as fast as I could, when [I] got there she had a noose ready to commit suicide.

“All she wanted was hot water! #costoflivingcrisis.”

A BBC investigation discovered he recycled the picture of a lady named Joyce seven occasions below completely different ages and areas, even after she had died in February 2020, a 12 months earlier than Depher posted about first serving to her.

Her daughter, Andrea, advised the broadcaster the posts have been “a complete lie”, including, “he’s using vulnerable people like my mother as a money-making machine.”

Depher has claimed to make use of donations to offer free meals, pay fuel and electrical energy payments, provide professional bono plumbing work and assist with funeral prices of late prospects.

Mr Anderson’s acts shortly went viral and he has been backed financially by celebrities together with Hugh Grant and Lily Allen in addition to showing on ITV’s This Morning to advertise his charity.

But the BBC accused him of utilizing donations to purchase a home and Mr Anderson additionally admitted to purchasing a automotive with firm money.

He stated the lease from the property allowed him to reopen a meals drive that the “community benefits from massively”.

Since the accusations got here to mild Mr Anderson has continued to put up footage of aged folks he has claimed to assist.

Speaking to the BBC from his Burnley places of work, Mr Anderson stated: “I know I’ve done it wrong. I apologise. But what can I do? I haven’t got a magic stick. I’m not Harry Potter.”

James Anderson with an aged buyer (Depher)

He claimed to have made errors due to a relentless marketing campaign of “bullying, harassment and attacks” from trolls on social media.

He took to Facebook on Thursday to put up: “Mistakes were made and apologised for, training and procedures are in place to stop them happening again.”

Previously he defended himself from a “witchhunt” attempting to shut his charity down. He had beforehand claimed to have helped over two million folks however has since backed down from that determine.

On 8 May he wrote on Facebook: “[Trolls] also accused me of purchasing a house with donations, I purchased a house with profits for Depher and it is in dephers name, the rent from the property has allowed us to reopen the food drive, and the community benefits from this, massively.

“They have accused us of fixing the tombola, a ex employee has been shown holding tickets that were hidden, but also allowed family, friends and their partner to play it! If it was fixed and the person knew it, why let them play it?”

It got here after it emerged in the course of the 2016 Brexit marketing campaign, the plumber shared an image of a golly doll.

Speaking to The IndependentAnderson stated: “In 2016, during the Brexit campaign, I reposted that picture (of a golly doll) with no comments.”

Anderson insisted he was unaware of the offensive racist connotations connected to the golly doll as a result of his childhood.

The BBC’s evaluation of Depher’s accounts, masking April 2021 to April 2023, discovered that money donations had doubled to greater than £1.2m.

Depher have been approached for remark.