Facebook appeal launched to help burglary victim

Janet Knowles - Jackson  recovers from the trauma of a recent break in at her property. Pic Richard Ponter 150668c

Janet Knowles - Jackson recovers from the trauma of a recent break in at her property. Pic Richard Ponter 150668c

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A kind-hearted Scarborough man has launched a Facebook group to help a pensioner whose home was burgled as she slept.

Lee Sheader, 34, set up the page - called “Let’s all come together and help Janet Knowles” after seeing last week’s front-page story in The Scarborough News.

Janet, a 70-year-old retired nurse, had to cancel a £2,000 trip to see her grandchildren abroad after her passport, cash and bank card were stolen.

Lee, who lives in the Old Town, has been amazed at the response so far to the group, which attracted 745 members in just 24 hours, with numbers growing daily.

He said: “I just saw the story and thought that poor lady. She’s a retired nurse of all things, caring for people who were ill which says a lot about her personality.

“I really felt for her. I wanted to try and raise £2,000 so she could see her grandchildren and asked everyone if they could donate £1 each.

“But the response has been huge so far with people wanting to donate more.”

Lee added: “This group is also about making a stand against criminals who think they can target old people.”

Thief Robert Power - who was called “a prolific and callous criminal” by police - is now behind bars for three years.

He had many previous convictions for drug offences and burglary and at the time of the incident was already subject to a community order for a previous offence.

Pledges can be made at the Facebook page, or you can email reporter susan.stephenson@jpress.co.uk with email subject “Let’s help Janet”.

Lee said: “I just want to show that there are some good people out there who care - and there is light at the end of the tunnel.”