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Fund set up to help Leslie Parsonage, 97, targeted by thieves at the Fryvern Arcade in Chandler's Ford
10:09am Wednesday 9th October 2013 in News
A COLLECTION has been set up for a 97-year-old man who had his pension stolen as he shopped in a Hampshire village.
As previously reported, Leslie Parsonage, below, had his wallet containing £450 snatched while he was resting on railings outside Boots in Fryern Arcade, Chandler’s Ford.
The pensioner, from Bassett, was so distressed by the incident that he says he can no longer venture out to shops as he has done in the past.
On Monday the Daily Echo ran a cctv video of the thieves targeting Mr Parsonage.
Ever since the “despicable” crime, well-wishers from as far afield as Australia have told of their desire to help Mr Parsonage.
Now Andy Moore, Hampshire County councillor for Eastleigh East, has set up an account for people to make a donation.
He said: “This is no way to treat a 97-year-old man.
“There is a lot of strength of feeling about what has happened and people just want to find a way to help.
“There has been one person call up from Australia offering to make a donation and there has been frustration that there is nowhere to send money to.”
The Post Officer, where Mr Parsonage had drawn his pension from moments before he was robbed has also started a collection for him, so far raising £140.
Vicky Syson, from the Post Office, said: "He is a very dear customer of ours and we always look forward to his visits.
"I was so shocked and disgusted by what happened to him, I wanted to do something to help."
Mr Parsonage was resting on railings at around 12.15pm on September 26, having been in the Post Office to collect the pension, when he was asked by a woman for the time.
As he looked at his watch, the woman managed to steal his w a l l e t from his jacket pocket.
Mr Parsonage realised his wallet was missing when he entered another store and returned to the Post Office thinking he might have mislaid it.
Afterwards, Mr Parsonage told the Daily Echo he believed he was being watched beforehand.
“I feel very upset, especially as they did it to someone of my age and I’m half-blind,” he said.
“It’s knocked my confidence.”
His great-niece Sharon Leggett, 48, said: “You shouldn’t do it to anybody but to see he’s got the white stick and he’s vulnerable.
“I just cannot believe that someone would do that. It’s despicable.”
The woman is described as Asian or eastern European, thin and around 5ft 6in.
She wore a camel-coloured jacket, faded jeans and a white scarf.
Witnesses should contact the Targeted Patrol Team at Eastleigh Police on 101.
To find out about making a donation, call Cllr Moore on 07710 862666.
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