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Newspaper's appeal pricks thief's conscience

A thief who stole £200 from a woman’s bank account has cleared his conscience and handed the money into a newspaper office in Northern Ireland.

The man came forward to the Derry Journal on Wednesday following an article in the paper earlier in the week in which the woman appealed for the thief to “do the decent thing” and give her back the cash.

A friend acting on the thief’s behalf rang the paper saying the man “felt really bad” and would hand the money over to the newspaper.

Next morning Journal staff discovered an envelope in their office post box containing the £200 cash, a good luck card and a letter of apology.

The letter, pictured below, stated: “To whom it may concern. Sorry for the trouble I cos’t (sic) I’m very embarassed (sic) over the situation I hope you can accept this apology. I know this will never happen again. Yours Sincerely.”

  • The £200 cash, well wisher’s card and note left in the Derry Journal postbox.
  • The Journal has now returned the money to the woman, recently made redundant, who said she was “gobsmacked.”

    “This act has restored my faith in human nature,” she said. “Fair play to this man for coming forward and doing the right thing.

    “It’s good to know that reading the story struck a chord with him and pushed him to come forward.

    The woman’s money was taken when she accidentally left her card in an ATM machine.

    She explained that she’d asked for a mini statement at the machine and walked away leaving her card in when she became distracted.

    The woman told the Journal she would take the matter no further if the money was returned.

    She added: “The money will be going to a good cause – it will be put towards taking my dad away for his 60th birthday.”