Alan Barnes and Katie Cutler
Enter Katie Cutler. After reading about the disgraceful attack on such a frail victim, Cutler, who is a beautician, launched a "Help Alan Barnes" online donation page on the Go Fund Me Web site. "I was so upset that anyone could target a disabled pensioner and be so cruel," she said. Her aim was to raise $800, but the site soon attracted 2,000 donations totaling $431,000. There have also been offers of free help from plumbers, electricians, bathroom fitters and carpet layers, plus offers of furniture. Barnes' family says the funds will be placed in a trust for his permanent benefit.
"I can't wait for him to get it," Cutler said. "I'm over the moon.""I've heard of fundraising for charities," said Barnes, "but I've only got a fractured collarbone. I didn't expect that sort of response."