At 68 years old he had to try and pick himself back up and start again. He tried several unsuccessful projects and realised that he had to get back into the business he knew to survive. (He was buying cars at the auctions for a thousand pounds each and eventually selling them for £500.) Joe and his daughter, Mary, started with literally nothing to rebuild their flooring manufacturing business. They were hit by legal costs and court cases. The new company, Portable Floormaker (name changed by one letter – most customers and suppliers weren’t even aware this had happened) has aggressively tried to stop Joe. They had acquired from the administrator all the trademarks for his inventions, and have tried to get him committed to Pentonville jail for contempt of court for using similar names for the products he invented.
The majority of Joe’s customers in the tent rental business have supported him, and the business is growing despite various sabotage attempts. The night before we were due to attend our first exhibition, the Showman’s Show in Newbury, the tyres on all the cars outside our home were slashed. Someone (we can’t prove who) has clearly got a grudge and an impeccable sense of timing.
Coming up to Hotel Oympia, where both companies were exhibiting, Friday 1st February at 3.30am, we had a fire started under our portacabin office, just where the telephone cables, fibre optic and network distribution is situated, which took all our phone lines and internet connections out. We also had a petrol bomb through the office letterbox. Luckily, our landlord, the farmer, spotted the smoke and woke us, and the fire was put out without too much damage, although the cost of repairs was over two thousand pounds. This is the third time we have had our phone system maliciously interfered with.
On the same night, at 2.30am, four cars were vandalised outside Joe’s daughter’s home; all the tyres were slashed and a slab was used to smash front and back windows. No other cars in the street were touched. Seems like that person with the grudge and the impeccable sense of timing is back. The local police are taking the threats against Joe very seriously but can’t offer much help and can’t act without evidence.
Joe celebrated his 70th birthday on 1st March 2008, and feeling vulnerable, but determined not to give in to bully boy tactics, decided to set up booby traps and deterrents at home and at work, and if he can’t stop the vandals, at least he’ll have the satisfaction of scaring the sh** out of them or covering them in chicken poo.
Anyone who wants to support Joe in his fight for justice and to get his business back so he can retire and take life easy, contact us. Any fighting or trainee lawyers who could help without charging a fortune, please contact us. Anyone who thinks Joe deserves better, join the fighting fund – court costs, solicitor’s fees, repairs, CCTV, saving the family home, as well as setting up a business from scratch. Joe has a wealth of hilarious stories and can be persuaded to give after dinner speeches and appearances at bargain prices to fund the fight.