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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Heartless burglars steal Barrow charity funds

A DISTRAUGHT woman has spoken of her anger after charity money raised for a family struck by illness was stolen in a burglary.

The £70 ticket money, for a fundraising event next Friday, was taken during a break-in at the home of Danielle Benson, on Rodney Street, Barrow, on November 29.

The fundraiser was being jointly organised by Mrs Benson in aid of Paul and Clare Coulston, a couple from Ulverston who both have life-threatening illnesses.

Mrs Benson said she “felt guilty” when she returned to her house at 8pm to find that the money had been taken while she was out at work.

Mrs Benson added: “When I came into my house I noticed the charity box was gone from the side. I didn’t believe it at first.”

The distressed mother phoned around her friends and family to see if anybody had taken the plastic box of tickets and the money.

But she realised when she started looking round the house that she had been the victim of a burglary and that intruders had also taken two diamond rings and a Playstation 2 from the property.

She said: “The ticket money raised from the night was all due to go to the Coulstons.”

Mrs Benson and fellow organiser, Helen Caine, had planned for the money for the 200 tickets sold to go towards supplying a face painter and Christmas presents for Father Christmas to give out at the fundraising event.

Mrs Benson said now the money would “have to come out of our own pockets”.

The event, at the Soccer Bar in Wilkie Road, was organised by Mrs Benson and Mrs Caine, who both have children who attend St George’s Primary School, Barrow, where Paul Coulston is the deputy head teacher.

The two Barrow women were saddened to hear that Mr Coulston has Motor Neurone Disease, a terminal condition which attacks the nerves in the brain and spinal cord.

In addition, Mr Coulston’s wife Clare, a Barrow police sergeant, has been told she has only a 30 per cent chance of surviving oesophageal cancer.

The Coulstons have two young children, Finlay and Evelyn, and there have been several fundraising events organised to provide support the family.

Mrs Benson, 22, has made an appeal for the money to be returned before the event on December 14.

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