Archway pensioner has his life-savings stolen by trickster

Harry Nechell, 83, has just had his life savings robbed in Islington.

Harry Nechell, 83, has just had his life savings robbed in Islington. - Credit: Archant

Half blind OAP, 83, loses lot to callous thief

A partially-blind pensioner with Parkinson’s disease lost his life-savings to a heartless thief.

Harry Nechell, 83, had more than £5,000 taken when a callous con-artist tricked his way into his home pretending he was delivering shopping.

The sneak turned up with bags of groceries, and when Mr Nechell told him he hadn’t ordered any, the thief said: “oh you must have a secret admirer then” – before ransacking the OAP’s bedroom and making off with the cash.

Police are investigating, but their efforts are hampered by the “astonishing and appalling” revelation Mr Nechell’s sheltered accommodation, in Junction Road, Archway, has neither a warden or CCTV to protect elderly residents.

Denise Kane, Mr Nechell’s daughter, said: “It’s meant to be sheltered accommodation, but they are not protected. The only thing sheltering them is the roof.

“There’s been no warden for years, but when we were with the police and found there was no CCTV, we were astonished and appalled. His life-savings were in there.

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“They think they’re safe, and the families think they are, but they’re not.

“My father’s very shook up and nervous, as you’d expect.

“He’s so gentle and easy going he won’t complain – but I will.”

Mr Nechell said: “My daughter is furious and it really has set me back quite badly. I’ve lost my appetite and everything.

“But at least I wasn’t hurt.”

Police said the suspect is a black man with a beard, aged 35 to 39-years-old who was wearing a black peaked cap, black trousers, a high visibility yellow jacket and had a sandy coloured rucksack during the theft.

Det Con Jason Cole, from Islington CID, said: “I would like to remind residents, especially the elderly, to always ask for identification before letting people into their homes.”

Allyson Kay, managing director at Centra Care and Support – part of Circle, which manages the home – said there was protection for residents.

She said: “We provide residents of Ash Court with a 24-hour emergency alarm service which allows them to stay living independently in their own flats.

“As with all tenancies, residents are given personal responsibility for their own possessions and keeping their doors and windows secure.

“This kind of incident underlines the importance of storing any valuables securely and safely whilst staying alert to the dangers of doorstep crime.”

She added: “We will fully support Mr Nechell following this incident and assist with the police’s investigation.”