| 10.6°C Belfast

Mugging victim fund halted at £329k

Close

An online fund to help Alan Barnes after he was mugged has been halted after it reached more than £329,000

An online fund to help Alan Barnes after he was mugged has been halted after it reached more than £329,000

An online fund to help Alan Barnes after he was mugged has been halted after it reached more than £329,000

An online fund to help frail pensioner Alan Barnes after he was mugged has been halted by his grateful family with donations standing at more than £329,000, the woman who set it up has said.

Beautician Katie Cutler said there will be a presentation in due course when a cheque will be handed over to the 4ft 6in visually-impaired 67-year-old.

Ms Cutler, 21, wrote on the Alan Barnes Fund page: "Good morning, after speaking with Alan & his family, they have asked me to stop any further donations to his fund.

"He is very grateful for all your love, support & donations.

"We will be having a little presentation to hand him his cheque so il keep you all updated. X"

The appeal to help Mr Barnes went around the world as people were sickened to hear such a vulnerable and well-liked man was mugged outside his home in Low Fell, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.

He suffered a broken collarbone and felt too scared to go back to his home. He is recuperating with relatives in Newcastle.

Ms Cutler, 21, from Greenside, Gateshead, set up the fund hoping to raise £500 for new curtains or carpets. She never dreamed the campaign would go global.

She said: "It has been very bizarre, it is like a whirlwind."

People have called her a hero and there is an online campaign for her to receive an OBE.

A fund was set up by well-wishers to thank her for the consideration she showed for Mr Barnes, but she will give the £1,500 away to charity. "I have had a lifetime of compliments within a few days and it really warms your heart, it is lovely.

"I do find it hard, people calling me a hero - I definitely don't think that is right."

She is now concentrating her efforts on helping Kacie Martin, a two-year-old from Wallsend, Tyneside, who has the serious life-threatening condition spinal muscular atrophy.

Her family is trying to raise £27,000 for a customised wheelchair and Ms Cutler met her in hospital last night.

Ms Cutler said: "Children with SMA don't tend to live past two and she is approaching her third birthday.

"How ever long her life is, we can make it better for her.

"Alan has asked if we can put on his fundraising page that he would like donations to go to Kacie."

She said she was looking forward to seeing what happens next with Mr Barnes, who has described her as a friend for life.

"I'm excited to follow Alan's journey, it is only the start of it for him.

"I'm going to help little Kacie then I'm going to step back. I think my clients think I have forgotten them."