A 97-year old partially sighted victim of crime can afford to look forward to a happier Christmas after well -wishers collected £230 for him.
Les Parsonage, who was a resident of Common Road, Chandler’s Ford for 50 years, lost £450 to a cruel trickster while he was out collecting his pension at Fryern Arcade last September.
The shocking story generated a huge surge of traffic when it appeared on the Eastleigh News website and the County Councillor for Eastleigh East Andy Moore acted as trustee to an appeal fund which raised the £230 after it was advertised on local news sites.
Earlier today Cllr Moore presented the collection to Mr Parsonage at his Bassett home.
The £230 is addition to another collection of £500 made by customers and staff at the Chandler’s Ford Post Office where Mr Parsonage used to draw his pension.
People from as far away as Australia and Holland had chipped in to bring some cheer to an ‘amazed’ Mr Parsonage who told reporters that the collection had gone some way to restoring his faith in humanity while niece Sharon expressed thanks on behalf of the family to all those who had donated.
Mr Parsonage admitted “I still feel about nervous about going out on my own” and said he no longer travels to Chandler’s Ford by bus alone.
His niece who helps to care for him, said it was appalling to think that people were too frightened to travel about for fear of being attacked.
The family told Eastleigh News that despite a widespread appeal the police had not been able to catch the thief but as details remained on file, if the perpetrator was caught reoffending they could still be charged.
Former Eastleigh Mayor Glynn Davies-Dear, who was also at the presentation, said he thought the collection was not just an act of sympathy by local residents but also a protest against crime.