Cash for carols

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WELLWISHERS raised hundreds of pounds for a 97-year-old crime victim at a police Christmas carol service.

About 200 people who turned out to the community event at Portchester Precinct, collected 212 in just an hour.

Police have now donated the cash to an elderly woman, whose purse containing 700 was stolen as she shopped at Somerfield in the precinct between 10.30am and 11.10am on December 9.

The thieves later withdrew a further 500 from a bank account belonging to the victim - who does not want to be named - at a Portsmouth cashpoint.

PC Francesca Munro, from Portchester Safer Neighbourhoods Team, said: 'This event brought the community together to enjoy an evening of Christmas cheer, while at the same time supporting an elderly and vulnerable member of the community.

'It was so rewarding to hand over the money raised to the victim of the theft. She was so moved by the people of Portchester's generosity.'

Friday's event saw pupils from Castle Primary School's community choir adding to the festive cheer by singing Christmas carols including Away in A Manger and O Come all Ye Faithful.

The Portchester Society also provided hot mince pies, while the Red Lion Pub sold mulled wine.