I read this story earlier this week and actually cried..This disabled
pensioner was violently beaten by an unknown evil person and was left
with a broken collar bone .Alan Barnes, who was born with growth
problems and is now partially sighted, was knocked to the ground as he
put his bins outside his home in Gateshead,on Sunday.
He has been so scared of living there since the incident .Now, his pain
is bringing him joy as a stranger’s fundraising effort to raise £500 to
help him move house has gotten a whooping donation of more than
When local resident Katie Cutler heard about the shocking attack – which
left Mr Barnes with a broken collar bone and scared to return home –
she set up a fund to help the 67-year-old.
Mr Barnes, speaking on BBC Breakfast this morning about the donations, said:
‘I just don’t believe it.’I’ve heard of fundraising for charities but
I’ve only got a fractured collar bone. I didn’t expect this
response.Thank you doesn’t seem to answer it really. It’s unbelievable
it’s happened.’At its latest count, the Alan Barnes Fund on website Go Fund Me reached £90,000 in just two days,
The fund is expected to exceed £100,000 today – 200 times the amount initially hoped for.
Ms Cutler, 21, also from Gateshead, had set up the site with the aim of
raising £500 to help Mr Barnes with the costs of moving house, after
hearing he was too scared to return home.
‘I had just put my daughter to bed when I came across Alan’s story on Wednesday night and I was really upset by what I had read.
‘Alan obviously can’t defend himself and he must have been so afraid. He
comes across as such a quiet, timid, man and I can’t imagine how this
must have affected him.
‘I wanted to do something to help so I went online to set up a
fundraising page. I had heard that he was too afraid to go back to his
old house so I thought raising a few hundred pound might help him to
find somewhere new.’ ‘I’m over the moon at the amount we’ve raised in
‘I have hardly slept since I set the page up because my phone is buzzing all the time with donations pouring in.
‘It’s so awful what has happened to Alan and I hope that the donations
do keep coming so that he can experience something positive from this
More than 5,500 people have donated using the page so far, many of whom
left messages of support for Mr Barnes.Nadeem Inayat wrote on the
‘I was very upset to have read that such a defenceless and frail old man
was left feeling afraid to go back to his home that for all intents and
purposes should be his haven and source of safety.I hope someone reads
some of these comments to Alan and let him know that he is a very much
Frail Mr Barnes was pushing his bin from the back of his home to the
front at around 6.30pm on Sunday night when he was targeted. He was
knocked to the ground, breaking his collar bone as he landed.
The mugger demanded money and searched Mr Barnes’ pockets before
realising his stricken victim was not carrying cash and fleeing.
Mr Barnes stumbled to the house next door where his neighbour called his
sister Carol Hill, who rushed over and took her brother to hospital,
where X-rays revealed the fractured collar bone.
Mr Barnes, a committed Christian, said:
‘Someone just jumped on me. It all happened in a very short time. I would like to see him caught because he might do it again.
‘I didn’t see him coming. He must have jumped on me from a back
garden.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.’I’m just frustrated now that I can’t do
anything for myself. They say it will take four to six weeks for me to
‘I’m trying to do the best I can. I can manage to get a bath if someone puts the water in. But I can’t tie my shoelace.
Mr Barnes is well known in the area around his home and is an active
member of the congregation at his local Methodist church. He fills his
days taking long walks around the area.
Mr Barnes is now too frightened to return to his home, and Ms Hill is helping her brother look for new accommodation.
Detectives hunting the would-be robber have branded the crime ‘disgraceful’.
Det Con Chris Neil, of Gateshead CID, said:
‘This was a cowardly assault on a vulnerable man who wasn’t able to defend himself.
‘His disability means he is partially sighted and quite short and it’s disgraceful that someone would target him.
‘The victim is quite a well-known man in the area and this has left him extremely distressed.
‘We’re doing everything we can to trace the suspect and I would urge
anyone who saw this attempted robbery or who has information about the
person responsible to get in touch.’