Help Harry smile again after life savings robbed by thief

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

Fundraising campaign launched to help pensioner robbed twice in three months of more than £5,000

A crowdfunding appeal has been launched by the Gazette to help a partially blind pensioner with Parkinson’s smile again after he was robbed of his life savings.

Three months ago, former policeman Harry Nechell, 83 answered the door of his flat in sheltered accomodation at Ash Court, in Junction Road, Archway, to a heartless trickster pretending to be delivering shopping.

When Mr Nechell challenged him, the thief pushed past him before ransacking his bedroom and stealing more than £5,000 – his life savings.

Mr Nechell, who brought up his daughter Denise as a single parent, was saving the money to have “a few days out with his family” and to give his grandson, Che, a better future.

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And just when the pensioner thought his ordeal was over, last week, the same callous thief is thought to have struck again.

On Monday afternoon last week, Mr Nechell was asleep in his armchair, when the thief slipped into his flat and stole more than £500 – three weeks’ worth of his pension.

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The family said they were “astonished” to find that Centra housing, which manages the block of 29 vulnerable elderly residents, has not, until Monday, , installed CCTV cameras.

Mr Nechell’s family are devastated and say that he hasnt been the same since both of the incidents.

His daughter Denise Kane, 56, said: “My dad and I are very close, he brought me up when my mum left us.

“It was hard growing up, he never had anything, so he had saved this money up to have a few special days out with the family.”

Denise said her father is “loved by everybody, and so gentle”.

“He doesn’t complain, but he’s got so nervous and lost a lot of weight after what happened to him. He’s very scared,” she added.

Mr Nechell’s grandson, Che, 26, said he is very close to his grandad and enjoyed talking to him about things like tennis.

But Che has also seen the impact the burglaries have had.

“He’s very shaken up. He’s lived his whole life in relative peace, so you don’t expect for this to happen to someone like him,” Che said.

The Gazette team were so saddened to hear of Mr Nechell’s plight that we have decided to launch a crowdfunding appeal in a bid to raise funds up to £5,000 – the value of his life savings – to give him a second chance to have those treasured “few days out with his family.”

The former policeman has given his life to protecting the people of London, now it’s our turn to give back to him.

Please show your support for Harry by donating to our fundraising page here

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