Tyne & Wear

Alan Barnes: Mugging victim says donation will be 'put to good use'

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Media captionAlan Barnes: "It's like magic really, I didn't expect anything"

A disabled man who was mugged outside his Tyneside home says he will put hundreds of thousands of pounds raised in online donations "to good use".

A fundraising campaign began after visually impaired Alan Barnes, 67, was attacked in Gateshead on 25 January.

Mr Barnes is now receiving financial advice on how to best use almost £300,000 raised so far.

Beautician Katie Cutler set up the Help Alan Barnes online donation page on Go Fund Me after learning of the attack.

The pair met for the first time on Sunday, when Mr Barnes, described Ms Cutler, 21, as a "wonderful girl."

'Very grateful'

The total raised passed £284,000 shortly after 09:00 GMT on Monday, by which time more than 21,700 donations had been made.

Mr Barnes said: "I've got a solicitor who has offered me some advice, so all the money will be put to good use. Katie is a wonderful girl. I didn't expect any of this but I'm very grateful."

Ms Cutler, who has a daughter, said meeting Mr Barnes was "magical." She said local tradesmen had also offered to help Mr Barnes.

She said: "A full kitchen has been offered, a conservatory, a bathroom. There's an electrician, a tiler - you name it... everything."

When Ms Cutler set up the fund for Mr Barnes, she said the intention was to raise £500 to buy him new home carpets and curtains.

Mr Barnes has lived with disabilities from birth after his mother contracted German measles when she was pregnant. His family said that the money raised would go into a trust fund for him.

No-one has yet been arrested over the attack.

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