Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'Good Samaritan' Turned out to Be Heartless Thief

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'Good Samaritan' Turned out to Be Heartless Thief

Article excerpt

Byline: Kathryn Riddell Reporter

ASICK pensioner has been robbed of his independence by a thief who befriended him before swiping his mobility scooter.

William Fenwick was collecting his pension and paying off bills at Nile Street post office in North Shields when he took a bad turn and was comforted by a stranger.

A woman had approached the 89-year-old, who was using his mobility scooter, and offered to escort him home to a nearby street at around 3pm on Monday.

Little did Mr Fenwick realise that the Good Samaritan, who had a little boy with her, had already stolen cash from him and was eyeing up his mode of transport.

Outside the post office, Mr Fenwick says the woman started patting his chest and asking "Are you alright?" He later discovered the woman had reached inside his jacket while touching him and stole his remaining pension money, between PS30 and PS40, from his pocket.

Once they reached his home, the grateful pensioner invited the young woman inside for a cup of tea to say thank you.

As he headed in, he left the woman to store his scooter in the back yard, where it was usually kept.

But before leaving, the thief struck again, taking the mobility scooter's charger and cover from inside the house before grabbing the scooter from the yard.

Mr Fenwick's daughter Elizabeth Leyton has now spoken out about how her elderly father discovered the theft the next day.

"He had gone to bed after getting home because he was not feeling too well.

"When he got up the next morning the scooter was gone. He came up to mine in a taxi and asked to go to the police station."

The 65-year-old, from Clifton Gardens, North Shields, added: "I was absolutely furious. Who does this to old people? "That was his way of getting out, having a little bit of life, a little bit of independence."

The great-grandfather, who has two daughters and two sons, has lived on his own since his divorce 30 years ago.

Despite approaching his 90th birthday, Mrs Leyton said her dad, a former fitter on shipyards, prefers to live on his own and is able to cook and shop for himself.

But as Mr Fenwick developed arthritis in his legs, he found that he was struggling with his mobility. …

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