Alan Barnes: Suspect Richard Gatiss appears in court

More than £300,000 has been raised for Mr Barnes following the attack

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The Independent Online

A 25-year-old man has appeared in court, charged with assaulting disabled pensioner Alan Barnes.

Mr Barnes, who is visually impaired and stands at just 4ft 6in, suffered a broken collarbone when he was knocked over in Gateshead, on 25 January.

Richard Gatiss from Gateshead was charged yesterday, with assault and intent to rob. 

Mr Gatiss was remanded in custody today, and the case will be sent to the Crown Court.

Since Mr Barnes’ attack outside his home in Low Fell, he has received international attention after a local beautician raised more than £300,000 for him.

Katie Cutler, 21, said she had initially hoped to raise £500 to help Mr Barnes him buy new curtains and carpets.

But her appeal quickly went viral, and hundreds of thousands of pounds as well as offers of free help from many local tradesmen poured in.

Mr Barnes's family halted the fund last week, with donations standing at more than £329,000.

In turn, well-wishers have established a fund to thank Ms Cutler for the consideration she showed for Mr Barnes. She has said she will give the £1,500 raised away to charity.