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A furious punter staged a one-person protest after claiming bookies refused to pay out his £5 million Liverpool accumulator win.
Darren Hope, who lives in a one-bedroom flat in Coventry, had to be escorted from the Coventry turf accountants by five police officers during his demonstration.
The electrical engineer says he should be enjoying a lavish new life after the staggering win from a European Champions League accumulator bet from BoyleSports.
But despite calling on Action Fraud and the industry's adjudicators, Darren still is yet to get his hands on the winnings after claiming the High Street bookies lost his betting slip.
The 52-year-old said he placed £20 with BoyleSports on a wager that would conclude with Liverpool beating Spurs for the trophy on May 3, 2019.
The odds, he claims, were: Liverpool to beat Barcelona 4-0 at Anfield at 400 to 1. They won 4-0 at Anfield.
The accumulator he says also had Spurs to beat Ajax at 18 to 1 and for Liverpool to then beat Spurs in the final, at that stage priced at 35-1. Both predictions came to fruition.
He said: "I’d be living in a new house if I had that money. I even went to a Ford garage to order a Mustang. I feel very let down.
“This has caused me a lot of stress, a lot of sleepless nights. I feel betrayed.”
He admits he has no concrete proof, alleging the winning slip was handed to the Foleshill Road bookies, with his contact details and signature scribbled on it, when he went to collect the huge windfall.
BoyleSports position is equally entrenched. The bet was never made, the Foleshill Road shop hadn’t even been launched when Mr Hope claims he made his bet.
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In a letter to the angry gambler, the Independent Betting Adjudication Service state: “(We have been) provided with details of your complaint against Boylesports and your follow up correspondence with Action Fraud.
“Unfortunately, I have contacted Boylesports and they have confirmed that they did not open a betting shop in Coventry until November, 2019. I regret that we cannot progress your complaint against the company any further.”
Yet there is a police log of the protest staged by Mr Hope inside the bookies. It states officers were called to the premises on September 25, 2019. That was over a month before Boylesports and the IBAS claimed the Boylesports opened.
Darren added: “I went to collect my winnings on June 2, the day after the final, and was told they couldn’t pay it from there.
"I put my name, address and phone number on the slip, signed it, and gave it the woman. People have said I was stupid to hand over the slip, but what else was I supposed to do?
“At 8pm that night I got a call from BoyleSports. The man confirmed to me I’d won, asked for my bank details, gave me a transaction number – 320536809, and said it would take 90 days for the money to become available. I was in very high spirits.
“I waited until September 25 and looked at my bank account and the money wasn’t there.”
It was then Darren took matters into his own hands. He staged a demo at the shop.
“The attendant said they didn’t know anything about it,” he said. “In the end, the attendant was starting to get angry and called police – five came in."
Action Fraud has been contacted but has been unable to assist the punter.
In a letter dated January 14 2020 the government body informed Darren: “On this occasion, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau have reviewed your crime and based on the information currently available have not been able to identify a line of enquiry which a law enforcement agency in the United Kingdom could pursue."
In an email to BoyleSports, sent this February, Darren wrote: “This bet still remains unresolved and you therefore still owe me the winning money.
“I am prepared to accept a settlement amount of 50 per cent. I therefore request that you contact me within the next seven days.” He is still waiting.
The Irish based business, which sponsors Coventry City FC, has yet to comment publicly.
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