Community rallies round war hero

War hero: Mr Dawson at an Armistice Day parade
War hero: Mr Dawson at an Armistice Day parade

A community is pulling together to help raise cash for a Burnley war veteran who had his life savings stolen.

Second World War hero Kenneth Dawson was left sickened after discovering his friend of eight years, Paul Youngs (53) was regularly stealing cash from him.

The 89-year-old victim was swindled out of £1,800 over five months by his ex-care worker, Youngs, who he had met at Rosegrove Unity Working Men’s Club. Youngs appeared before Burnley Magistrates’ Court last week and was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison.

After hearing of Mr Dawson’s plight, Burnley resident Kelly Decruz, who previously worked as a carer, decided to start an online fund-raising campaign to raise the £1,800 that was stolen.

“It’s absolutely disgusting and dispicable what happened to Mr Dawson,” said Kelly (34), who now works as a healthcare assistant for the NHS. “Elderly people put a lot of trust in carers because they are unable to look after themselves or carry out jobs and therefore have to trust their carers.

“I have a lot of respect for people like Mr Dawson who fought in the Second World War for this country and sacrificed so much. He put his life at risk and this is the way he is repaid?

“I would like everyone to dig deep into their pockets and donate generously in order for Mr Dawson to get his money back.”

Kelly added that a group of kind-hearted people had also arranged a hamper containing festive goodies to be delivered to Mr Dawson’s house.

Mr Dawson, a veteran of the Burma campaign during the Second World War, led the Armistice Day parade in the town in 2012. He served as a rifleman in the 1st Battalion Cameronian Scottish Rifles in Burma and stayed in the Army until 1951.

Anyone wishing to pledge support is asked to log onto https://www.justgiving.com/yimby/mrkennethdawson