Beds, Herts & Bucks

Cyril Banks: Scammed WWII veteran donates £9k to charity

Cyril Banks and charity representatives Image copyright Annie Riley
Image caption Cyril Banks gave a total of £9,000 to charity, presenting his donations to their representatives at a concert in Essex

A World War Two veteran whose life savings were stolen has donated thousands of pounds to charity after an online campaign to help him ended up raising £18,000.

Cyril Banks, 91, of Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, had £9,000 stolen from him by fraudsters in June.

Thousands of pounds were raised for him within hours on a GoFundMe page.

Mr Banks has donated all the leftover money, including £2,000 to a footballer who lost his legs in a car crash.

On Friday night, Mr Banks presented cheques to other charities at a concert he organises annually at Ugley village hall in Essex.

Image caption Cyril Banks, who fought in World War Two, was conned out of his life savings in June

"Cyril does the concert every year, but this one's extra special as it shows what a generous, lovely, giving person he is," said his friend Annie Riley.

He gave money to the Not Forgotten association, which helps serving and ex-service men and women, the Royal British Legion's poppy appeal, the Salvation Army and Think Jessica, which works to warn elderly and vulnerable people about scams.

Mr Banks also gave £2,000 to footballer Shaun Whiter, 27, who was seriously injured in a hit-and-run in Newmarket on 1 July.

Image copyright David Lee
Image caption Shaun Whiter, a footballer who lost both his legs after a hit-and-run car crash, was given £2,000 towards his rehabilitation by war veteran Cyril Banks

"He's done the right thing by giving the leftover money away - it would have been wrong of him to have kept more, but it was so kind of people to give it to him," Ms Riley said.

"It's given him a new lease of life to talk about what happened to him and to warn others about scams," she added.

"If we hadn't done it, it could have gone horribly wrong and finished him off - he was so upset when it first happened to him."

Hertfordshire Police said the investigation into the theft from Mr Banks was ongoing.

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