Disabled pensioner Alan Barnes to sell house and move to Shetland Islands after 'calling from God'

Well-wishers raised £330,000 for Alan Barnes after he was mugged

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The Independent Online

Alan Barnes, the disabled pensioner who received hundreds of thousands of pounds in donations after he was mugged outside his house, has said he is moving to Scotland after receiving a “calling” from God.

The 67-year-old made international headlines earlier this year after he was attacked while moving his wheelie bin at his home in Low Fell, Gateshead.

His attacker, Richard Gatiss, knocked his 4ft 6in victim to the ground, searched him for cash and left him with a broken collarbone. The pensioner was so affected by the ordeal that he was too scared to return to his bungalow.

Katie Cutler helped to raise hundreds of thousand of pounds for Alan Barnes (Image: Getty)

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The pensioner’s fortunes took a positive turn when news of the incident spread online, and Katie Cutler, a 21-year-old beautician from Gateshead, set up a webpage to raise funds for Mr Barnes.

Well-wishers across the world made donations, and Mr Barnes was able to buy a new home with the £330,000 raised.

Now, three months after moving house, Mr Barnes is making another fresh start and will soon move to the Shetland Islands to work for the church.

Mr Barnes, who is a devout Christian, told the Newcastle Chronicle, that the thought came to him when he was praying. 

“I have never been to Shetland before but when you get a calling from God you can’t ignore it,” he said.

The pensioner moved into his home in April, but admitted at the time that he struggled to settle in following the unprecedented level of publicity he encountered.