Gen­er­ous ges­ture ‘snow­balled’

Land­lady’s ef­fort for widow robbed at grave

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By David Rivers david.rivers@trin­i­tymir­

AN UXBRIDGE woman has helped to cheer up a widow who was robbed while tend­ing to her hus­band’s grave.

Joanna Bar­rett, 37, a Hilling­don res­i­dent who runs Lavins Bar in Han­well, heard about the de­spi­ca­ble crime when the po­lice called and asked if they could look at her CCTV to help iden­tify the sus­pect.

They said a 73-year-old widow had had her handbag snatched while clean­ing her hus­band’s grave in Han­well Ceme­tery on Christ­mas Eve.

Joanna was so in­censed by the rob­bery she started a fundrais­ing drive which ‘snow­balled’ and gen­er­ated £845.

She said: “When the po­lice told me about it I was shocked. I did not know the lady but I went on Face­book to see if any­one would be in­ter­ested in rais­ing money and things went from there.

“I only made con­tact with her af­ter I started fundrais­ing, but then through Face­book I found out it was my friend’s mother.”

The vic­tim, who has not been named by po­lice, fell to the ground dur­ing the rob­bery and now says she is too afraid to go to the ceme­tery on her own again.

A Just­Giv­ing page ac­com­pa­ny­ing the ap­peal states it is to raise money for the vic­tim to ‘make her smile and feel loved and sup­ported’.

Joanna said the woman was ‘over­whelmed’ af­ter hear­ing of the gen­eros­ity of peo­ple who had been hand­ing over cash at Lavins Bar.

The com­mu­nity ef­fort far ex­ceeded the £200 that the bar hoped to raise.

Eal­ing MP Stephen Pound praised the ef­fort and said he will try and get in con­tact with the vic­tim.

He added: “What Joanna wants to do is show her that there is such a thing as de­cency and that as a com­mu­nity we look af­ter our own. We want to show her that there is light as well as dark­ness.”

So far no ar­rests have been made.

n MAK­ING HER SMILE: Joanna Bar­rett (left) with daugh­ter Am­ber Matthews, who helped put to­gether the fundrais­ing page

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