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Paper’s appeal wins new scooter for war veteran

A 97-year-old war veteran whose savings were stolen has been given a new mobility scooter after an appeal by a weekly newspaper.

The Sutton Guardian launched a campaign to help Joseph Bourne after his neighbour conned him out of his £2,000 savings, which were to be used for a new scooter.

The paper was flooded with money and offers of help from readers following its appeal and Mr Bourne has now received a new scooter after a fellow pensioner donated a new scooter to him.

After reading about Mr Bourne’s plight, 84-year-old pensioner Florence Shepherd contacted the Guardian to say she had a £3,500 new scooter which she was unable to use and offered it to him.

The war veteran, who suffers from osteoporosis and is very hard of hearing, struggles to get out without a scooter.

Group editor Sean Duggan said: “I want to thank all our readers who have responded with such generosity to Mr Bourne’s plight.

“Here at the Sutton Guardian we are absolutely delighted that he has got the scooter he was saving up for and hugely grateful to Miss Shepherd who has made his dream come true so quickly.”

He added the cheques that had been sent in to help pay for a new scooter would be destoyed.

Crack cocaine addict Michael Angelo Sagnibene, 39, was jailed in September for 20 months after a court was told he regularly visited Mr Bourne’s flat to steal his bank card and pin number to take small amounts of money from his account.

Mr Bourne, who was a prisoner of war between 1942 and 1945, was left with just £75 in his account after the crime.

He thanked Miss Shepherd for the scooter and presented her with flowers when they met.

Mr Bourne said: “She is a wonderfully kind lady. I will remember this day forever. It is a very special day.”

Miss Shepherd said: “I’m glad the scooter can go to a good home. It’s brand new and Joseph sounds like he will use it a lot more than I ever would.”