‘Despicable’ robbers stole charity cash in savage Sunderland spray attack

Alan Patchett, director of Age UK, Sunderland.
Alan Patchett, director of Age UK, Sunderland.
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A CHARITY boss has hit out at “despicable” robbers who assaulted one of his drivers in broad daylight and stole £700 of cash destined to help people in need.

The 60-year-old victim, who works for Age UK was on his way to Barclays, in Chester Road on Thursday, when he was savagely attacked as he crossed Burnaby Street at 3pm.

Chester Road

Chester Road

Sunderland Age UK director Alan Patchett, said: “He was taking some money to the bank for us and was attacked by two men on a motorcycle.

“One of them got off and sprayed noxious liquid in his eyes and the other started punching him in the face.

“He said to his mate to stab him and then he let go of the bag.

“He’s been to the eye infirmary and was treated and allowed home.

“He is okay, but understandably a bit shocked.

“I went to visit him at home and he appears to all right, but he was complaining about his teeth from being punched. It’s despicable that people are being attacked in the street. Who are these people?

“It’s utterly disgraceful. It’s appalling that people would steal from a charity.

“It’s not going to bankrupt us, but it’s £700 which would have provided services for elderly people in Sunderland.”

Despite being sprayed with a noxious liquid, punched and threatened that he would be stabbed, the brave charity worker returned to work the next day.

“He and the other staff are very dedicated,” Mr Patchett added. “They don’t get paid a lot, but they get a huge amount of satisfaction for what they do.”

Police have launched an appeal in an effort to track down those responsible.

A spokesman said: “A 60-year-old man was crossing the road when he was approached by a rider and pillion passenger on a moped.

“They demanded he hand over a bag containing an undisclosed amount of cash. When he refused, he was sprayed in the face with a substance and punched several times.

“The offenders stole the bag and made off on the bike towards General Graham Street.”

The offenders are described as being in their early 20s with local accents and wearing silver helmets.

The moped driver was a white man, 6ft tall and slim. The passenger was stocky, 5ft 6in tall, and wearing a black jacket.

Anyone with information should contact police on 101, extension 69191, quoting log number 748 of 06/11/14 or ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.