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Bad samaritan forces epilepsy sufferer to hand over cash

Bad samaritan forces epilepsy sufferer to hand over cash

Hugh Sach

Hugh Sach

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by , Senior Feature Writer

HE appeared a Good Samaritan, offering to help a bus passenger who had an epileptic fit.

Little did Hugh Sach know his rescuer really wanted to grab his life savings – money put aside to get married.

The 34-year-old’s ordeal began when he had a seizure getting off a Bluestar bus in London Road, Southampton.

He was befriended by a fellow passenger who, after he had helped Hugh off the bus, then became threatening.

He frog-marched Hugh to a cashpoint and forced him to withdraw his £300 life savings.

Hugh, from Winchester, who has daily seizures, was initially helped from the bus by two men.

He said: “One went on his way but the other was persistent in staying with me.

“It seemed he was helping me and took me to sit down. I realised he had my bank card he must have taken off me.

“When I have a seizure, I’m not really aware of what’s going on round me and I can’t speak.

“He said: ‘What’s your PIN? We’ll go to the cashpoint and you can get some money and get a taxi home’.”

When they got to the cash point, the thief demanded £20 from Hugh for his trouble and became aggressive.

Hugh gave his PIN number and the man took £300 from the machine. Hugh managed to grab his card but the thief ran away with the money.

“I feel a mixture of hate and anger towards him,” said Hugh.

“I was vulnerable and he took advantage. People like that are sad and pathetic.

“It’s very low. It’s a big act of cowardice. I hope the police pick something up on the bus or cashpoint CCTV.”

After the incident, Hugh went to The Rockstone Pub in Bevois Valley. Landlord Max Greenwood has started a collection to replace the stolen money.

Hugh, who does not work because of his illness said: “My bank has said that because I was there they can’t do anything about it. It is a lot to lose as my fiancé and I are getting married next month.”

However, after the Daily Echo spoke to Hugh’s bank, HSBC last night agreed a refund.

A spokesman said: “As a gesture of goodwill we are refunding the £300 which was stolen and this money will be in Mr Sach’s account tomorrow.”

Mr Sach is now planning on donating any money raised at The Rockstone to the National Society for Epilepsy.

The incident occurred shortly before 9pm on Monday. Police are now appealing for witnesses.

Hugh described the thief as white, in his late 20s with stubble and possibly ginger hair.

He spoke in a gruff voice and had a cap and blue shirt.

• Contact PC Gavin Williams on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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