Alan Barnes: Richard Gatiss, 25, charged with assaulting disabled pensioner

Over £300,000 has been raised for Mr Barnes

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A man has been charged with assaulting disabled pensioner Alan Barnes.

Mr Barnes, 67, who is visually impaired, suffered a broken collar bone during the incident outside his home in Low Fell, Gateshead, on 25 January.

Police have charged Richard Gatiss, 25, from Gateshead, with assault and intent to rob. 

His arrest comes after a beautician set up an online fund to help Mr Barnes, who stands at just 4ft 6in.

Mr Barnes’ family has since halted Katie Cutler’s fundraising attempts, as donations stand at more than £329,000.

Ms Cutler, 21, from Gateshead, said she set had hoped to raise just £500 to buy Mr Barnse new curtains or carpets, and never dreamed that the campaign would go viral.

When the pair met, Mr Barnes told the BBC: "It’s like magic really, I didn’t expect anything."

A post on the GoFundMe page from Ms Cutler read: "Good morning, after speaking with Alan & his family. They have asked me to stop any further donations to his fund. He is very grateful for all your love, support & donations. We will be having a little presentation to hand him his check [sic] so I’ll keep you all updated.”

Tonight, Chief Superintendent Andy McDyer, of Northumbria Police, said: “I'd like to reassure people that since this happened we've been relentless in our investigation and in following up lines of inquiry.

"In the early hours of Monday, officers made an arrest in connection with the investigation and this man has now been charged and is progressing through the court process."

Gatiss will appear at Gateshead Magistrates' Court tomorrow.

Additional reporting by PA