A CHARITY has rallied round an 87-year-old former RAF veteran who had £500 cash stolen off him during a brazen broad daylight mugging by raising the money in under three hours.
Acts of Kindness Community Solent stepped in to help Brian Colley who was ambushed by a gang of thieves in a cowardly attack in Fareham town centre – described as ‘disgusting’ by the charity founder Kerry Snuggs.
The unsuspecting pensioner had just withdrawn his monthly housekeeping budget from the Natwest on West Street when the gang of thieves struck at 1pm on Monday.
The former aircraft engineer, who served from 1947 to 1961 in bases around the world, described a man ‘tackling’ him from behind, with a woman approaching him to say the pair needed help getting to hospital because she was pregnant.
Brian, who has difficulty walking due to osteoarthritis, said he ‘couldn’t move’ when the man grabbed him by the shoulders and three other men surrounded them.
He said: ‘He had his hands around my shoulders so I couldn’t move. At the time I didn’t realise what was going on – I just wanted to get free from him.
‘He pointed to a picture of a hospital on his phone, and the men pointed down the road. Eventually they just walked off, and his girlfriend stayed talking to me, saying she was in pain, and then she walked off.’
When Brian arrived home, he found the money had been taken from his inside jacket pocket – admitting he ‘felt sick’ after the violation.
Despite being robbed of his cash, Brian will not be left out of pocket after the charity’s owner read The News’ story.
And after an overwhelming response from the community the charity had raised £570 for the pensioner in under three hours.
Ms Snuggs said: ‘It must have been horrific for Brian to lose £500 like that. It is disgusting what they did.
‘After reading the story I decided to help him. We have done similar things in the past – we raised £1,400 in 24 hours for a man who was a robbed of £400 one time. I’m glad we’ve done the same thing for Brian and showed him the community is behind him.’
Excess money will go to charities Service for Dogs, which helps veterans with PTSD, and Alabare, which helps homeless veterans.
‘We just wanted to make good come out of a bad situation,’ Ms Snuggs added.