Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Is This a New Low, as a Thug Targets Alan, 67, Who Weighs Just Six Stone and Stands at 4ft 6ins? Is This a New Low, as a Thug Targets Alan, 67, Who Weighs Just Six Stone and Stands at 4ft 6ins?

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Is This a New Low, as a Thug Targets Alan, 67, Who Weighs Just Six Stone and Stands at 4ft 6ins? Is This a New Low, as a Thug Targets Alan, 67, Who Weighs Just Six Stone and Stands at 4ft 6ins?

Article excerpt

Byline: Sophie Doughty Crime Reporter sophie.doughty@ncjmedia.co.uk

SHORTER than five foot and weighing less than six stone, disabled Alan Barnes was an easy target for the cowardly thief who attacked him.

A manhunt is today on for the thug who preyed on the vulnerable 67-yearold outside his home. Alan was born with sight and growth problems after his mother contracted German measles during pregnancy.

And on Sunday night a would-be robber chose to take advantage of the 4ft 6in man, pouncing on him outside his Gateshead home.

Frail Alan was knocked to the ground by the thug, breaking his collar bone as he landed.

The mugger then demanded money as he searched his victim's pock-pockets.

But when he realised there was no cash for him he fled.

Police are today still hunting the robber, who struck as Alan brought his wheelie bin in on Sunday night.

And today the victim and his family have told of their shock and anger.

Alan 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."

Alan had just returned to his home, on Hillside Place in Low Fell, when he was attacked.

The committed Christian was pushing his bin from the back of his home to the front as the robber appeared out of nowhere, at around 6.30pm.

"I didn't see him coming," he said.

"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," he said.

"I shouted 'help' and then he ran off. As soon as he had gone I got up, and I knew I had been hurt."

Alan stumbled to the house next door where his neighbour called his sister Carol Hill, who drove from her home in Benton, North Tyneside, to take her brother to hospital.

X-rays revealed Alan had fractured his collarbone in the fall.

"I'm just frustrated now that I can't do anything for myself," said Alan.

"They say it will take four to six weeks for me to recover. I'm trying to do the best I can. I can manage to get a bath if someone puts the water in. …

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