Kicked while he’s down – army vet targeted by thieves again after online fund launched

Karen Howarth and Jimmy Smith at the allotment off Dowson Road where thieves broke in and stole a number of items.

Karen Howarth and Jimmy Smith at the allotment off Dowson Road where thieves broke in and stole a number of items.

  • Thieves break into allotment of war veteran Jimmy Smith
  • The crime comes just days after his home was burgled and his £6,000 funeral savings were swiped
  • Second crime comes as town businesswoman sets up online fund to get Jimmy’s money back
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AN Army veteran who was left heartbroken when a burglar broke into his home has suffered a second blow at the hands of despicable thieves.

Eighty-year-old Jimmy Smith, who lost £6,000 he was saving to pay for his funeral in the burglary at his Hartlepool home, has now seen his allotment broken into.

It comes as an online fund was publicly launched by a Hartlepool businesswoman to try and claw back the pensioner’s money which was stolen in a raid on his home.

Jimmy, who is still trying to come to terms with crooks breaking into his home and stealing his cash, found the aftermath of the burglary at the allotment around 6.15am yesterday.

The thieves had forced their way into a shed and swiped a rotavator, a leaf blower, and a harness and tack belonging to his pony Storm, who OAP Jimmy keeps at the allotment with the help of a friend.

The second blow to poor Jimmy comes as the online fund, set up by kind-hearted entrepreneur Kelly Adamson, tops £300.

War veteran Jimmy Smith and his daughter Karen Howarth.

War veteran Jimmy Smith and his daughter Karen Howarth.

The Go Fund Me page has also seen town firm Euro Security pledge to fit Jimmy’s home with a monitored alarm, which will be linked to his daughter Karen Howarth, to make him feel safe, and also a discounted funeral trust fund courtesy of Hart Funeral Plans Ltd, Hartlepool.

Karen said: “After this lovely idea from Kelly to set up the fund, and all the people who have donated, I just can’t believe this has happened to my poor dad again now at his allotment, which is his life.

“He’s talking about packing it all in and getting rid of the pony now, but it’s the reason he gets up on a morning.

“He’s not well and he couldn’t do it without the help of his friend, but it gives him a purpose. His friend takes him out with the pony and trap maybe every other day because my dad loves it. Now they can’t do that. I’m so angry.

It’s something that I didn’t expect, but it does restore your faith in people. There are more good people than there are bad.

War veteran Jimmy Smith

“My dad said, ‘talk about kicking a man when he’s down’.”

Cleveland Police have confirmed that officers are now investigating this latest crime, as well as the burglary at his home in Baker Close, Clavering, between 12.50pm and 2.20pm on Friday, February 20.

Jimmy’s faith has been restored in human nature, however, with the actions of Kelly, who is the managing director of Adept Professional Services, and Adept Payroll Services.

Jimmy, a retired construction worker, was too upset to comment after the allotment break-in, but prior to that he did tell the Mail: “People wanting to give money and help like this is not something I’ve experience before, because everything I’ve ever had I’ve worked for. This is all new to me and I don’t understand the internet, I wouldn’t even know how to turn a computer on.

Kelly Adamson, who has set up a fund to try and help get Hartlepool pensioner Jimmy Smith's money back after theives stole his savings from his house.

Kelly Adamson, who has set up a fund to try and help get Hartlepool pensioner Jimmy Smith's money back after theives stole his savings from his house.

“I appreciate from the bottom of my heart what they are doing for me but it is something that my pride is struggling with.

“My daughter keeps telling me ‘dad, just accept it in the good faith that it’s given’. It’s something that I didn’t expect, but it does restore your faith in people.

“There are more good people than there are bad.”

Businesswoman Kelly, a mum-of-two, said she felt compelled to help.

“I read about what happened to Jimmy in the Mail and I just thought that it was so sad that someone could do this to him,” she said. “He’s the same age as my nan and it really struck a chord with me.

“He’s at the ripe old age of 80, he’s served the country and despite his ailments he tends to his allotment, and I just thought we have to do something for him and restore a bit of this guy’s faith in the community.

Jimmy Smith at the allotment off Dowson Road where thieves broke in and stole a number of items.

Jimmy Smith at the allotment off Dowson Road where thieves broke in and stole a number of items.

“I read it and felt for him and wanted to help. So I set up the fund and managed to secure him an alarm and the funeral fund which is just a great start.”

Anyone who would like to get Jimmy his money back should log onto http://www.gofundme.com/nagwi8.

Witnesses or those with information about either of the break-ins should contact Detective Constable Jason Mactaggart from Hartlepool Volume Crime Team on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.