Happy end to appalling crime

ChiswickW4.com members rally round to help robbed blind pensioner

When the police published details of the robbery of a blind pensioner on this site there was an immediate response from members of ChiswickW4.com. Although crime reports are all too regular, this particular incident struck a chord due to the uniquely appalling nature of the attack.

Stanley Harrison, a 73 year old pensioner, who formerly had a management position at Fuller's Brewery and has been blind for 19 years was the victim of a crime which caused widespread shock and disgust.

On Thursday 19/9/02 at around 12.30pm, Mr Harrison was approached by two men at a bus stop in Sutton Court Rd. They pretended to be police officers, said that his flat had been burgled and that his neighbours had told them where to find him. They said that they had caught the suspect with money on him and asked the man to come back to the flat to see if any cash was missing. Once back at the flat the man showed the tricksters his money and they made off with it whilst he was distracted.

The report of this crime on this site prompted Chris Calvi-Freeman, who works for Hounslow Council, to suggest through the ChiswickW4.com discussion forum that a fund should be raised for Mr Harrison to recompense him for the money that was stolen. The idea quickly caught on and local estate agent Ben Willcocks agreed to act as treasurer with £260 being raised in short order.

In the end it was only dogged persistence that enabled the money to get into the hands of its intended recipient. The officer who had taken the money had left Chiswick station before handing the money over to Mr. Harrison. She had told Mr Harrison that the money had been collected in January and he had become concerned that nothing had happened visiting the station. He had become concerned that the people who sent money in would think him ungrateful. He told the Brentford, Chiswick and Isleworth Times, "They must be reading the newspaper and thinking what a lousy person I am for not thanking them."

In the event the money had been in a bank account all the time and Mr. Willcocks and Mr Calvi-Freeman were able to hand it over recently. Mr Harrison said, "I'd like to thank the kind and wonderful people for the thoughtful gesture."

August 31, 2003

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