A WAR veteran living in poverty has been surprised with a food parcel from police after they were originally sent to investigate him for a potential covid rules breach.
Officers PC Noone and PC Hammond, from Essex Police, told how they visited the property on 11 November, only to find the occupant was a pensioner suffering from Parkinson’s and PTSD.
The heartbroken Colchester Division staff noticed that he was using his hob for heating and that his cupboards were totally bare.
The “poorly” war veteran, who served for 18 years, had also had his bank account closed that day, after callous scammers “took advantage of his kind nature”.
After referring the man to support agencies, the kindhearted officers decided to go and pick up food and supplies for the pensioner and “surprised” the grateful veteran that night.
Writing on Facebook about the incident, Essex Police said yesterday: “What they found was totally unexpected.
“The caring officers spoke to him for some time and discovered he had no food or drink in the fridge or cupboards, and only had a plate of sausage and mash leftovers that had been made for him the day before.
“Whilst waiting for social services to assess the male, PC Noone, with the assistance of PC Mond (also from CPT) attended the Cafe on the Rec, who provide food and supplies to vulnerable persons and families, and they kindly donated a number of food items to make up a food parcel for the war veteran.
“Later that evening, PC Noone and PC Gammans, delivered the food parcel to the delighted and very surprised male.”
“PC Noone was saddened to see the war veteran had switched on all the rings on his cooker hob, in an attempt to warm his flat, due to his gas supply being switched off. “However PC said the look on his face when he saw some jacket potatoes and a cooked chicken being delivered will stay with him forever.”
They added that the pensioner’s support referral was picked up the following day by social services and the bank fraud is being investigated.
Speaking today, Piter Vera, owner of social enterprise Cafe on the Rec, revealed the pensioner’s plight had left him in tears.
The 44-year-old said: “When I heard what happened, I was so disappointed that people were taking advantage of him.
“This man is a war hero, there are not many of them and a lot of them have already suffered so much.
“I actually cried about it afterwards.
“We have agreed to help in any way we can. I said we are happy to deliver food to him every day.
“We have some volunteers who are also going to go and cut his grass and clean his house, we can provide bedding, we just want to do everything we can.”