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War hero, 87, left ‘scared to answer the door’ after his pension was stolen

John Kelly, 87, was targeted in his home for his wallet which contained his pension (Picture: BPM Media)

A war hero has been left ‘scared to answer the door’ after a man he invited in for a cup of tea stole his pension money.

John Kelly reportedly opened his door to a man who said he was homeless but his girlfriend was pregnant and they were naming the baby John in his honour.

The 87-year-old, who lives in Chelmsford in Essex, said the man started ‘taunting’ him with his wallet and then made off with the £500 inside.

John, who was ‘buried alive’ while serving in the Korean War, was left without his war pension which makes up most of the money he has.

‘It’s knocked me for six,’ he said, ‘I don’t have much money and the only income I have is my war pension and disability.

‘It’s a real kick in the teeth. I tried to help someone down on their luck and they repaid me by stealing £500 of my war pension.

‘I was buried alive serving my country, I’ve gone to hell and back in the army.

‘But this has upset me a great deal and I’m scared to answer the door now.’

John was left without his war pension which makes up most of the money he has (Picture: BPM Media)

During his time in the army, John served in the same regiment as NHS fundraising hero Captain Tom Moore.

He has received multiple medals for his service and dedication, and even endured the most traumatic injuries and experiences on the front line.

But his friends say what happened on September 15 has left him ‘scared’ and has made him question life and his purpose in this world.

Sarah Hardwick, has known John for around 15 years, said: ‘He’s very much alone in this world, and lonelier now because of Covid.

‘It’s much harder for him so the timing is awful. For him, as a war veteran, it’s made him question what life is and what his purpose is in this world. The damage is taking its toll on him.

John has received multiple medals for his service and dedication (Picture: BPM Media)

‘He’s so alone he just sits out the front on his own and just chats. Everybody knows him and that’s what makes his day, talking to people.

‘He’s made friends with a lot of homeless people because he’s a kind-hearted guy, but when he phoned me that evening he was absolutely in bits. I went straight over and he was in shock.

‘He doesn’t have a lot of money.’

Local carpenter and friend of John, Lee Biggs, set up a Go Fund Me page for people in the community to raise money for him.

The page was set a target of £600, but more than £1,000 has now been raised to support John.

‘People saw what happened and said we should set up a fundraising page and I took it upon myself because I’ve got previous experience with it,’ Lee said.

‘It was a way to get the money back that was taken from him and to restore a little bit of faith for him.

‘It’s just to help him out because he hasn’t got any family or close friends apart from Sarah, and a lot of the community has come together.’

Essex Police said the force is investigating and requests anyone with information to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously.

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