ABUSING others’ trust is unforgivable. As is playing the distress card to get one’s way or get out of a sticky situation.

When Mark Baker, the former owner of Treasure Island in Thornbury, packed up and left in the middle of the night, at his own admission, with the thousands of items deposited there by his trusting customers, people in town were understandably upset, angry and frankly puzzled by the move.

Some were desperate for an explanation, others simply to have their items returned to them immediately. But Mr Baker elluded their inquiries for days before eventually promising to make things right.

But he does not seem to have stuck to his word.

There is only so long someone can play the victim. Initially Mr Baker explained his dubious actions, saying he was distraught after being forced to put the key under the door.

But nearly five months on, some bereft customers are still wondering what has happened to their possessions.

Police say they cannot intervene as no crime has been committed since the items were entrusted to him by locals. The Office of Fair Trading had a similar answer for a frustrated customers asking how he could retrieve his security gates and digital camera.

When will he be asked to accounts? He took off in the middle of the night with thousands of pounds worth of goods and no-one seems to be able to do anything about it because he was handed the items in the first place. They were not given to him as a gift.

It was a business transaction. What message is this sending out to rogue traders out there?

It is telling them they can cheat people out of their possessions with impunity. This is disgraceful.