A GOOD Samaritan turned bad when a pensioner had hundreds of pounds stolen from her as she was helped to her feet after falling over in the street.
Margaret Musther had been to Barclays Bank, in Chester Road, Sunderland, at 3pm on Monday when she tripped on the pavement while walking back to her car.
The 75-year-old great-grandmother landed flat on her face and was helped by a crowd of passers-by who rushed to her assistance.
But while her purse and glasses were handed to her after she dropped them, the brown envelope containing several hundreds of pounds went missing. It has still not been returned.
Still in shock, Mrs Musther, of High Barnes, was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital where she was kept overnight for observation, before being discharged yesterday afternoon.
Speaking to the Echo, she said: “I was just passing these young men talking when I felt myself go and I shouted out. I fell on the side of my face.
“I sat there on the pavement and some people helped to stand me up on my feet. I had been in the bank and taken some money out, a few hundred pounds.
“I asked them to put it in a brown envelope. I unzipped my fleece and put it inside my jacket. I had just three shops to walk past to where my car was parked. I had my car keys and purse in my hand.
“Someone picked up my purse and glasses and gave them to me. The lady from the blind shop across the road told me to come into the shop and sit down.
“I was walking across the road when I realised I no longer had the envelope. I went straight back to where I had fallen, but it had gone.”
Mrs Musther, who is married to 80-year-old Colin, searched in vain for her envelope and as she fell outside Ramsden’s pawn shop, she believes someone might have assumed it had jewellery or other valuables inside.
“It was just opportunist really, whoever picked it up,” she said. “Yes, someone could have seen me come out of the bank, but they weren’t to know I was going to fall.
“Apart from being bruised, I’m fine. I’ve got a bit of a shiner and I scraped the side of my face. I just want my money back. The police say they are looking at CCTV footage.”
When asked if she had a message for the person who took her money, Mrs Musther said: “Yes, but I don’t think you could print it.”
Northumbria Police have launched an investigation and officers want to speak to anyone who was in Chester Road on Monday afternoon to contact them on 101 ext 69191 quoting reference 804 of 03/03/14 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.