Mugged OAP thanks ‘friend for life’

Published: Monday 2nd February 2015 by The News Editor

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A vulnerable pensioner who has received more than £250,000 in donations after he was mugged outside his home has personally thanked the fund raiser who made it possible.

Alan Barnes, 67, 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.

He has, for the first time, met b eautician Katie Cutler, who set up the Help Alan Barnes online donation page after seeing reports of the attack.

During the get-together at Mr Barnes’ sister’s house, Ms Cutler, 21, presented him with chocolates and a card and he told her she would be a friend for life.

” I’ve heard of fund-raising for charities but I’ve only got a fractured collarbone. I didn’t expect that sort of response,” he told the BBC.

“Thank you doesn’t really seem to answer it, does it.”

Ms Cutler set up the donation page on Go Fund Me with an initial target of just £500 but now more than 19,500 well-wishers have chipped in .

Mr Barnes has suggested that he may use the money to move somewhere new. 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 past that footpath.”

Ms Cutler said the success of the campaign showed “there are so many lovely people out there”.

“This person that hurt Alan is just a minority,” she added.

Donations came flooding in to the site – at – after visitors were told that Mr Barnes was 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.

Published: Monday 2nd February 2015 by The News Editor

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