UK
09/02/2015 21:22 GMT | Updated 10/02/2015 09:59 GMT

Alan Barnes' 'Mugger' Charged By Police, In Case That Prompted Thousands In Donations

A 25-year-old man has been charged with assaulting pensioner Alan Barnes, who later received almost £330,000 in donations from concerned strangers.

Richard Gatiss, from Gateshead, has been charged with assault with intent to rob. Barnes suffered a broken collar bone in the incident in Gateshead on January 25.

An online appeal to help 4ft 6in visually impaired Mr Barnes was set up by beauty therapist Katie Cutler after the incident outside the 67-year-old's home in Low Fell.

alan barnes

barnes

Alan Barnes

The fund was halted by Mr Barnes's family last week with donations standing at more than £329,000 after the appeal went around the world. Ms Cutler, 21, from Gateshead, said she set up the fund hoping to raise £500 for new curtains or carpets and never dreamed the campaign would go global.

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 on Tuesday.