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Neighbours fund elderly couple’s stolen £10,000 life savings

Kind-hearted neighbours start whip-round for terminally ill husband and his elderly wife after burglars posing as water board workers stole their £10,000 life savings

  • John and Denise Heirene were tricked by burglars at home in Newport, Wales 
  • Mr Heirene, 79, has terminal cancer and he and his wife, 77, had £10,000 savings
  • The money was supposed to go their funerals so neighbours are crowdfunding 

Neighbours of an elderly couple who had their life savings stolen by heartless burglars are fundraising to get the money back so they can pay for their funerals.

John and Denise Heirene lost £10,000 when fraudsters tricked their way into their Newport home posing as water board workers. 

They asked to inspect the couple’s pipes so they could creep upstairs and raid their drawers.

Former drill sergeant Mr Heirene, 79, who is battling terminal cancer, was unable to do anything to stop them as his condition has left him bed bound.  

The couple have now lost the money they put aside to pay for their funerals. 

John and Denise Heirene (pictured together) lost £10,000 when fraudsters tricked their way into their Newport home posing as waterboard workers

People who live nearby were so shocked by the news they started a crowdfunding campaign to repay the money. 

Neighbours described Mrs Heirene, 77, and her husband as the ‘heart of the street’.    

Mr Heirene, 79, who is battling terminal cancer, was unable to do anything to stop them as his condition has left him bed bound

Will Huggins, who lives opposite, said: ‘Even though Denise has been through, and is going through, a very tough time she still thinks of others.

‘So when we found out that these lovely, open, kind hearted, stalwarts of the street had been robbed, we were utterly gutted.

‘I knew I needed to do something. There was no god damn way this horrible episode would be the last in John and Denise’s marriage, and no way would he be leaving her with so much less than he’d intended.’

Mr and Mrs Heirene’s son Mark, 50, said: ‘There was around £10,000 stolen. It was for both of their funerals and a bit of money if they needed anything.

‘Obviously they were gutted. My mother was in a bit of shock and it took her two or three days to get over it.

‘My dad was also gutted. He said to them: ‘What do you want? Get out my house.’

‘What makes it worse is that the water board are working around the area at the moment, so it matched together.’

John Heirene is pictured right in his days an Army drill sergeant 

So far over £1,400 has been raised for the couple and Gwent Police are now appealing for information.

One suspect was described as a white male, aged between 30 and 40, of medium build and 5ft 7in tall.

He was wearing long-sleeved fluorescent jacket, carrying a clipboard and had a lanyard around his neck.

The other is described as a white, aged between 30 and 40, of medium build and wearing dark clothing.

Will Huggins, who lives opposite and is pictured with his partner, said: ‘When we found out that these lovely, open, kind hearted, stalwarts of the street had been robbed, we were utterly gutted.’

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