Hundreds of kind-hearted people from the North East and further afield have raised a staggering amount of money to help disabled pensioner Alan Barnes relocate after he was attacked outside his home on Sunday evening in Gateshead.
Over £25,000 has been raised so far on a ‘Go Fund Me‘ page set up by local beautician Katie Cutler.
She told the Newcastle Chronicle newspaper,
I just can’t believe how many people have donated and how quickly – I think it shows everyone was really touched by Alan and disgusted with what happened to him.
The victim, who was born with several defects, including sight and growth problems after his mother contracted German measles during pregnancy, was bringing in his wheelie bin when the attack took place. The thug proceeded to knock Alan, who is 67 years old and only 4 foot 6, to the ground, breaking his collar bone. He then attempted to take money from the pockets of Mr Barnes but fled when he realised that there was no money to take.
The pensioner, who weighs only 6 stone, was attacked at around 6.30pm and has said that he hopes the criminal is caught as he fears that a similar attack could happen again.Alan told the Chronicle,
He pushed me down and put his hands in my pockets then told me to give him my money, but I didn’t have any. I shouted ‘help’ and then he ran off. As soon as he had gone I got up, and I knew I had been hurt.
Initially the donation page was set up with the aim of raising £500 to help Alan move to a different home, but that amount was reached after a matter of minutes and now stands at a staggering £28,605.
Alan said to the Chronicle,
When I was told about the fund, I was totally surprised as I didn’t expect anything like that. I’m so grateful and I just want to say a big thank you, it’s such a lovely thing to do.
It’s fantastic display of kindness from the local community and also people from outside Tyne and Wear. Police are still searching for the thug who committed the cowardly attack.
Anyone with any information should contact Northumbria Police on 101, extension 69191, quoting log number 1180 25/01/15 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
The donation page can be viewed by clicking here.