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What do you get for being kind? £500,000

It pays to be kind.

That's what builder Daniel Sharp, 45, realised when he discovered that he had been left a half-a-million pound fortune.

The money was willed to him by Mr Ronald Butcher, a 75-year-old man whose gutters he had offered to clean for free.

Mr Butcher's body was only found in his house two months after his death.

Leaving £500,000 to Mr Sharp meant that Mr Butcher's original beneficiaries - his elderly cousin and the children of his close childhood friend - would not get anything.

The surviving family members of Mr Butcher are not too happy about it.

They are contesting Mr Butcher's last will - drawn up two months before his death - in the courts.

According to The Telegraph, lawyer Jennifer Seaman, who was representing Mr Sharp, told the judge at a hearing: "He found a male friend in Sharp, somebody he could chat to. They had a shared interest in DIY and he liked to hear about Mr Sharp's son."

"That is an explanation why he wanted to make the 2013 will," she continued.

Mr Sharp, in the witness box, told the judge that the seed of his remarkable fortune could be traced to when he did an odd job for Mr Butcher and refused to take any money.

"When I first cleaned out his gutter he offered me a tenner or twenty quid for it, but I said no, I wouldn't take it. It was a nothing job that took seconds," he said.

Talking of his feelings on learning of his windfall, he added: "At the time I was shocked to be given something like that. It's life changing. Nobody gives you nothing in life.

"I didn't think he had people to give it to, or obviously they had had an argument. Something happened and he gave it to me. I can't say the reason why he gave it to me," he added.

"But if I'm the only one who went round to talk to him... I didn't know what's gone on with the others. Obviously there's been a big falling out."

Metro UK reported that Mr Butcher's family brought to attention the "odd" nature of the change made to Mr Butcher's will and are saying that it should "excite suspicion" over Mr Sharp's involvement.

"He would tell us what was going on in his life and Mr Sharp never ever came up," said Mr Peter Rodgers, the son of Butcher's childhood friend said during the hearing.

Ms Araba Taylor, the lawyer acting for the family, challenged Mr Sharp's account of his relationship with Mr Butcher.

"In six years he gave you nothing, not even a birthday card, then suddenly he has given you everything he's got when he's gone," she said.

"That is unreal. It needs to be explained because it is so odd."

Mr Sharp retorted: "What sort of person do you think I am? I do a lot of things for charity and help people out, and you are making me out to be some sort of horrible person."

Mr Sharp added that he never said they were "good friends" but they were "just friends". "I never said I was his best mate or whatever."

He added: "I class a friend as somebody who talks to people. His friends and family hadn't spoken to him in months. At least I was going round whenever I was in the area."

"I'm still shocked today and I can understand why his family are upset about it. But, at the end of the day, there's a reason why he's given it to me.

"They know it, but I don't."

Sources: Metro UK, The Telegraph

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