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‘Heartless’ firm offer to build garden for terminally-ill child…then bombard family with legal threats when they …

A STUNNED Scots granddad claims a “heartless” company exploited his terminally-ill grandson in a bid to get good publicity. Furious Kevan Adams says the company offered to help build his dying grandson a garden – then sent legal threats when they did not get the “promised publicity”. Little Jordan Reid was diagnosed with a tumour last year

Mercury Press

Little Jordan Reid was diagnosed with a tumour last year

Kevan, from Perth, was devastated when three-year-old Jordan Reid was diagnosed with a tumour in June last year after suffering a swollen neck and sickness. After undergoing chemotherapy for six months, and six weeks of radiotherapy, the family were told that Jordan’s cancer is terminal and there is nothing more doctors can do. The 54-year-old decided to create a garden so that Jordan could have somewhere to play and Davally Garden Services in Sheffield said they would help by providing the labour for free – but with “strings attached”.

However, the granddad says he received a letter on September 8 from them saying they were “concerned that the promised publicity has not been forthcoming” after articles about Jordan’s illness were published. Jordan with sister and granddad Kevan Mercury Press

Jordan with sister and granddad Kevan

The letter goes on to demand they be “informed” so they can “authorise” any further article that mentions their company – making bizarre references to their “copyright”.

A week later Kevan says he received another letter from the firm about a “hurtful and factually untrue” online review that they believed had been written by somebody close to the family. In the letter it says that if any further “defamatory” comments are made against them they may have to “respond formally.” Managing director of the garden company Dave Caborn denied claims they exploited Jordan and says it was Kevan who offered them the publicity rather than them demanding it.

The company boss went on to say his firm “would most likely have taken this job on without the promise”. One of the letters sent to Kevan Mercury Press

One of the letters sent to Kevan

Scot Kevan, now living in Sheffield, said: “It feels like the company were using our poorly boy to get their name out there.

It has been a difficult time for us. “It isn’t something that any family thinks they are going to face. We were overwhelmed by the support of the community and what we thought was support from this company.

“However, to have them turn around and throw legal threats and nasty letters our way is the opposite of what we need. It feels heartless. I try to do my best to give Jordan everything I can.

“I wanted somewhere for Jordan to enjoy himself and to just be a child. It is bad enough that he is going through this terrible illness never mind some company trying to gain a name and reputation out of it.” Kevan claims that the business asked him to provide the material needed for the garden in return for the company’s labour, which he agreed to.

Little Jordan Mercury Press

Little Jordan

He says that he provided all of the artificial glass, the sleepers as well as sand for the garden and that he met all of their requests. But Kevan has since decided against working with Davally on the garden project after being unhappy with their demands.

Kevan said: “Why do some people think they have the right to not allow a young three-year-old boy, with a life-limiting illness, access to his garden because of publicity and their name in lights? “Some time ago back in January of this year they offered their services to finish Jordan’s garden off but there were some strings attached. “As Jordan’s grandparents we fulfilled all of the conditions asked of us by raising the materials required.

We also managed to get the local press and magazines on board with recognition to the said company. “Now this company have changed the goalposts to better serve themselves by saying and dictating the way that they are mentioned in articles about awareness to ATRT cancer. Jordan's family

Mercury Press

Jordan’s family

“After the threats of legal action and their rather ambiguous letters, Debra [Kevan’s wife] and I made the decision to not work with this company as they were only after one thing. The first letter read: “We are concerned that the promised publicity has not been forthcoming, what happened to the Sheffield Star, the BBC, local radio stations etc. “We have had no contact and it was part of our agreement with you.

We are aware that we got a mention in the ‘Sixer’, however we already advertise in this magazine monthly so the mention was of little value. “[Name removed] is concerned that this article appeared without due notice, he expects to be informed and to authorise any article where daVally is named; no copyright was agreed. “If there are any future articles naming daVally you will need to share a proof with us and secure authorisation from Dave before the article is printed.

“We are still happy to do the agreed work however you need to source the required materials and arrange the agreed publicity; when they are all in place you need to contact us to arrange a date.”


The a week later Kevan received a second letter from Davally about a review that was left on their website. The second letter read: “As we have always stated we have always been committed to provide labour free of charge for you. “As a small business we have tried to assist your family (even though the project is not going to be carried out at the child’s main residence.

Despite this we were sympathetic to your plight as a grandparent). “Despite our offer we were therefore concerned to read the review made on social media earlier this week which we believe to have been made by someone close to your family in relation to this matter. “The comments were hurtful and factually untrue.

We acknowledge that this post has since been deleted from the site, however should any further defamatory comments be made against us we may have to respond formally.” Kevan said: “I met all the verbally agreed obligations and now they want their cake and to eat it too. They have written a nasty letter with so many inaccuracies about Jordan.”

Mercury Press Managing director Dave Caborn of Davally Garden Services said: “Mr Adams approached us at our place of business, rather than the other way round.

We were told that he had been talking to the BBC and local newspapers about the unfortunate situation affecting his grandson. “It was Mr Adams who promised to obtain publicity for our business if we agreed to help, rather than us insisting on publicity before agreeing to do the work. “We would most likely have taken this job on without the promise of publicity – one of our directors has had experience of cancer and regularly supports various charities in their works.

“We were under the impression that the garden would be where Mr Adams’ grandson resides; instead, it turned out to be Mr Adams’ personal garden (to which Jordan has access sometimes). “Whilst we agreed to carry out a certain amount of work for free, it was made clear that we would not be able to fit it in immediately because we had a long waiting list. “We suggested that Mr Adams might like to approach other organisations instead, who might have needed the publicity more than us.

“However, Mr Adams said that he was prepared to wait and was more than happy for us to fit the work in around other jobs when we had time. “Using our name and connections with a supplier, Mr Adams had tried to force the supplier of materials to donate materials for his garden either free of charge or at a reduced rate.

“We had only ever agreed to provide labour and this went well beyond our agreement. “The letter tried to defend ourselves from further action, whilst at the same time pointing out that Mr Adams had not done the things he had originally promised to do. “At no time have we sought to take advantage of this child.

We were deeply upset when we heard of his plight and our only intention has been to help this family who now seek to cause us reputational harm.”


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