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North of England

Ex-church warden, 97, robbed on doorstep

todayOctober 21, 2017 15

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Harry Melling was pushed to the ground and had his wallet taken, on the doorstep of his home in the Newtown area of Wigan.

The widower, who once served as a warden at St Mark’s Church in Newtown, said: “It was a shock. It unsettled me for quite a period of time and it has disturbed me.”

Details of the incident at 10pm on Thursday 12th October have only now been emerged, as police urge anyone with information to come forward.



Detective Sergeant Phil Housley, of Greater Manchester Police, said: “This was a horrific incident, in which a war veteran who served on submarines in WW2, was targeted and robbed in his own home.

“He had just enjoyed a visit from a friend before he was confronted by a man who pushed his way into his house and forcefully robbed him.”

The suspect has been described as 5ft 8in, wearing dark clothing and of medium build.

Yui Mok/PA


Recalling the events, Mr Melling said: “I had had a friend in the house. We had been having a drink and a chat and he left. I remember this fellow at the door and after that it was vague.

“However, although I would say that I was afraid at the time, I’m certainly not afraid now. I find that a bit remarkable but it has affected me.

“At 97, you have supposedly seen it all but this was definitely a new thing and I have had to try to overcome it.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 0161 856 7124, 101 quoting incident number 2354 of 12/10/17, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

A 97-year-old World War II veteran and former church warden has vowed to recover after suffering a “horrific” late-night robbery in Greater Manchester.

Written by: Rufus Olaniyan

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