Christ­mas saved as €1,800 is re­turned

GOOD SA­MAR­I­TAN HANDS LOST WAL­LET BACK TO MAN CRY­ING ON MAIN STREET

Bray People - - FRONT PAGE - By MARY FOG­A­RTY

A BRAY MAN who found €1,800 in a wal­let in the street re­turned it to a dis­traught owner mo­ments later.

Lee Hem­pen­stall picked up the wal­let at the Holy Redeemer last Mon­day. There was no ID and just a faded Credit Union re­ceipt.

He went to­wards the Credit Union and hap- pened to no­tice that there was a man on the other side of the road in a dis­tressed state.

Peo­ple were try­ing to con­sole the man, who had re­alised he had lost all of the Christ­mas money he and his wife had saved.

When Lee handed him the wal­let he grabbed him into a hug and thanked him. ‘Ev­ery­one around him was just say­ing it was great he got it back,’ said Lee. ‘He was still shak­ing and up­set, all I could say was it’s okay, you have it back now.’

The man told Lee that his daugh­ters would not have been get­ting their gifts this Christ­mas with­out that money.

Lee posted what had hap­pened on Face­book be­cause he was happy with the out­come. He has been over­whelmed by the re­sponse – and be­lieves any­one would have done the same thing.

A young man proved that hon­est peo­ple ex­ist, when he re­turned a wal­let con­tain­ing €1,800 which he found on the street in Bray.

Lee Hem­pen­stall (28) is from Dwyer Park in Bray and works at Paddy Power in Tal­laght.

He spot­ted the wal­let on the path out­side the Holy Redeemer last Mon­day, picked it up, and re­alised there was a large amount of money inside.

It’s not un­com­mon to won­der if you would be tempted to keep it if you ever found money.

‘ To be hon­est it was the first thing that came into my head,’ said Lee. ‘But I be­lieve in karma. I couldn’t have kept it.’

How­ever there was no iden­ti­fi­ca­tion inside the wal­let other than an old xtra vi­sion card and a Credit Union re­ceipt.

‘ The ac­count num­ber was worn off,’ said Lee. He started walk­ing to­wards the Credit Union, and had taken a photo of the wal­let in the hope that so­cial me­dia might iden­tify the owner.

‘I no­ticed a com­mo­tion on the other side of the road,’ he said. ‘ There was a man with his face in his hands cry­ing, say­ing he had lost his sav­ings. Peo­ple were try­ing to com­fort him and say­ing “it’s ok, you’ll find it”.’

Lee went over and asked the man if the wal­let was his.

‘He just gave me the big­gest hug ever,’ said Lee.‘He told me he had just with­drawn it from the Credit Union 20 min­utes ago. He and his wife had saved the money for Christ­mas and his two girls wouldn’t have got­ten presents with­out it.’

Lee thinks any­one would do the same and has been sur­prised by the amount of at­ten­tion his good deed has got­ten.

‘I didn’t ex­pect it,’ he said. ‘I did put it up on my Face­book just be­cause I thought it was a good thing that hap­pened.’

Lee Hem­pen­stall found the wal­let con­tain­ing €1,800 out­side the Holy Redeemer last Mon­day.

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