Tyne & Wear

Alan Barnes case: Fundraiser hands over £300,000 donation

Katie Cutler, left, and Alan Barnes Image copyright North News
Image caption The cheque Katie Cutler handed over to Alan Barnes reflects total donations before Go Fund Me's deductions

Disabled mugging victim Alan Barnes has been presented with more than £300,000, raised through online donations.

The 67-year-old was attacked outside his Gateshead home on 25 January and suffered a broken collar bone.

Beautician Katie Cutler, 21, began a campaign to raise £500 but the target was quickly smashed.

A 25-year-old man has been charged with intent to rob and will appear at Newcastle Crown Court on 24 February.

Mr Barnes and Ms Cutler had not met before she started the campaign but say they have since struck up a firm friendship.

'Opened doors'

He intends to use the money to buy a new home as he does not want to return to the area where he was attacked.

Mr Barnes has lived with disabilities from birth after his mother contracted German measles when she was pregnant. He is visually impaired and stands 4ft 6in (1.21m) tall.

He said: "I've always wanted to do other things that I've found difficult with having my eyesight problem but she seems to have opened doors and I might be able to do it now. It's sinking in."

According to the Go Fund Me site's terms and conditions, 7.4% is deducted from the total donation in administration and processing fees and 20p is deducted from each individual donation, equivalent to £29,389.20 from the £330,135 raised for Mr Barnes.

A gala ball at Newcastle's Assembly Rooms will stage another presentation ceremony on Friday. The event is by invitation only but 150 tickets were put on public sale, at a cost of £10 each.

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