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Mugged pensioner receives £204,000


Money is pouring in to the fund for pensioner Alan Barnes

Money is pouring in to the fund for pensioner Alan Barnes

Money is pouring in to the fund for pensioner Alan Barnes

A vulnerable pensioner who has received more than £200,000 in donations after he was mugged outside his home has been "overwhelmed" by the support, his sister said.

Almost 16,000 well-wishers have raised more than £204,000 in just over two days after hearing about the cowardly attack on Alan Barnes, 67.

Mr Barnes, who is 4ft 6in, frail and visually impaired , suffered a broken collarbone when he was shoved over outside his home in Low Fell, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, last Sunday.

The attacker demanded money and checked through his victim's pockets but ran off when Mr Barnes called for help.

Mr Barnes' sister Carol Hill, 55, said her brother had been taken aback by all the attention his story had attracted.

She said: "He's done a lot of interviews and he's done TV, it's all getting a bit much I think.

"But it's been lovely, there are so many kind people out there giving very generously. He is overwhelmed by it all."

Mr Barnes said that he will not return to the home, where he was living independently.

He has said that he is thinking of using the money to move somewhere new and will put the donations to good use.

Speaking to the BBC, he said: "I'm not going back there, I decided that instant I wouldn't go back to that house.

"You would remember it every time you went passed that foot path, wouldn't you?"

Beautician Katie Cutler set up the Help Alan Barnes online donation page on the Go Fund Me site after seeing reports of the attack which police described as "disgraceful".

Ms Cutler, who is expected to meet Mr Barnes this afternoon, said that she had been "lost for words" after the campaign made national headlines.

"It doesn't feel real, I'm so over the moon," the 21-year-old said.

"I think now he could probably buy a nice little bungalow for himself with a nice little garden.

"Also I've had people contact me with regards to donating kitchens, bathrooms, carpets, offering plumbing services and electrical services so I think he is going to have a nice place to live."

Donations came flooding in to the site - at http://www.gofundme.com/l0dt9o - smashing the original £500 fundraising target after well-wishers were told that Mr Barnes is too afraid to return home.

Ms Cutler wrote: "I was so upset that anyone could target a disabled pensioner and be so cruel.

"We can't take away what has happened but with a little donation we can make the future a prettier one and help towards the cost of his new home. Thank you all."

Mr Barnes is a well-known figure in Low Fell and is renowned for being able to quickly calculate how many days old someone is from their date of birth.

He has lived with disabilities from birth after his mother contracted German measles when she was pregnant.

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