A VULNERABLE man who had almost £250 snatched from him in broad daylight says he is “overwhelmed” after a kind-hearted group had a whipround and handed the money back to him as a birthday treat.
As reported in the Mail, David Page was terrified to step out of his house and his confidence was shattered after heartless thief Peter Stead snatched the money from him as he waited at a bus stop in Catcote Road.
David was relieved to hear Stead was caught and locked up for 54 weeks.
And David’s broad smile returned this week when, on his 59th birthday, he went along to one of his weekly lunch groups at Seaton Hotel and was handed £250.
The hotel’s landlord Darren Juler had read the devastating story about the theft in the Mail, and recognised David from the lunch group.
He immediately set about organising a whipround with hotel staff and regulars in the bar, and all of the money was raised in no time at all.
David’s delighted sister Dot Page, who lives at Seaton Carew and works as a support worker at Greenfield Lodge care home, said: “All David kept saying to me is that he is overwhelmed that someone would do this for him and raise the money that he had stolen. He was in shock when they gave him the money.
“After all that’s happened to him, it just shows there are good people out there. I’m so thankful.”
David, who lives in the Owton Manor area of Hartlepool, had withdrawn £298 from Catcote Road Post Office and was then going to meet one of his support workers in Hartlepool to pay some of his bills.
He put £50 in one bag and all of the other cash was in another. But as he waited for the bus he told how Stead appeared from nowhere snatching the £250 and his diary, which had all of his medical appointment dates, important contact details and other personal information.
When police tracked down shameless Stead, 30, of Eddleton Walk, he had spent all of the money at a bookies in Billingham.
Seaton Hotel manager Darren said: “I saw the story in the Mail and just couldn’t believe someone would do that to David, there’s some absolute scum out there.
“I know it doesn’t make up for what’s happened to David but I thought it would be nice to try and raise the money for him that he had stolen.
“He just seemed so overwhelmed when we handed the money over to him.”