Bride lost wedding cash to jailed agent

Bride Hannah Owen lost wedding present money to jailed estate agent, Helen Gregory
Bride Hannah Owen lost wedding present money to jailed estate agent, Helen Gregory

A newly-married couple who got their perfect home through Helen Gregory say they feel “duped” - after losing nearly £1,000 of wedding-present cash to the jailed estate agent.

Bride-to-be Hannah Owen found the ideal home in Darley Dale with Gregory’s estate agency, just days before she wed partner Trefor in December 2010.

After the big day, the couple handed £950 to Gregory as a deposit. Hannah said the money was gifted to them by friends and family who attended the wedding.

Hannah said: “We didn’t think anything more about it until the Mercury’s front page in 2012.

“After reading it I phoned the DPS, who said there was no account registered for our property. This is when I began to fear the worst.

“I then contacted trading standards, who informed me of all the other suspected victims.”

Recalling the documentation Gregory gave her, Hannah said: “We were given, what looked like, a photocopied DPS brochure. There was nothing which had our names on or anything.

“But we didn’t question anything because you trust estate agencies to follow the law.”

Hannah and Trefor still live at the property in Darly Hillside, which is owned by a landlord, who let the property through Gregory’s company.

Their landlord has promised the couple will get their deposit back if they decide to move out.

But losing wedding cash to the jailed landlord still stings.

Hannah said: “We saw the house before our wedding and fell in love. It’s such a beautiful place.

“We asked for money as presents, and put it towards the house.

“I still feel upset that this money - those gifts - were stolen. We feel like we were duped by somebody we should have been able trust.”

It remains unclear whether those who lost money to Gregory will get their money back.

A proceeds of crime hearing has been set for September 10.