Pensioner touched by children's collection

A pensioner who suffered a harrowing robbery spoke last night of how a touching gesture by schoolchildren had restored some of her faith in human nature.

A pensioner who suffered a harrowing robbery spoke last night of how a touching gesture by schoolchildren had restored some of her faith in human nature.

Children at Norman Primary School in Northwold, near Thetford, raised £380 for the partially-sighted 83-year-old who was threatened and held down by raiders at her home on Monday.

Speaking last night, the victim, who does not wish to be named, said she had been moved by the kindness of the children and the outpouring of support from the community.

"I feel very touched and very pleased by what they did," she said.

Her daughter said: "She said to me she was overwhelmed, everybody has been so very kind to her. People seem to have been really moved by her story."

She said that in spite of the reassurance provided by the comm-unity's support, her mother was still finding it very difficult to trust people.

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The money was raised by a non-uniform day at the school on Thursday and presented to the pensioner by four children and headmaster Richard Ogilvie and teacher Alex Bowles.

Chairman of the governors Caroline Whiting said: "We have done everything we could to try to replace what we can of what this lady lost in the robbery.

"This is the sort of community that Northwold is - if somebody needs help, then we all rally round."

The three robbers, who originally posed as repairmen, stole valuables, her handbag and £300 in cash in the lunchtime raid on her home.

Before they made their escape, the robbers locked the woman in her living room and ripped out her telephone line, forcing the elderly victim to climb out of a ground floor window and alert a neighbour.

One of the three men was described as thin, with short, fair "crinkly" hair, and was wearing a zip-up jacket and fawn-coloured trousers. A second male had darker hair. One of the accomplices wore a navy T-shirt.

Anyone with information should call Downham Market CID on 0845 456 4567 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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