Normandy veteran mugged of his pension in Rainham

�An 89-year-old Normandy veteran was robbed of his pension by muggers as he walked home.

Cyril Harling, who needs a walking frame, was followed a short distance by a car after he got off the bus. He had just withdrawn his pension of �200 which was supposed to last him the month.

The two thugs trailed him in a white car to Lake Avenue, Rainham, then one got out, overpowered him, and demanded his keys. He took them from Cyril’s pocket, along with his money.

Now a businessman, disgusted by the incident, is offering a reward to help catch the cowardly robbers.

Cyril said: “I’ve lived in Rainham since 1936 and I’ve never known something like this to happen.


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“I would’ve been able to do something in my younger days – defend myself. I had more weight back then. I’m only speaking out because I don’t want the same thing to happen to someone else.”

Former RAF serviceman Cyril was a lorry driver in the D-Day landings, and also saw action in India and Japan – including in August 1945 when the war came to a close.

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Businessman and local councillor Jeff Tucker is offering a reward for anyone who can help catch the thugs.

He said: “I’ve not met too many people that are like Cyril. The man is a hero and I think he’s extremely brave for coming forward. He still gets out, he still likes a pint. In the old days he would have fought them off.

‘Someone must know’

“Someone must know who robbed this elderly man. I’m offering a �200 reward for someone who comes forward with information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the people who did this.” He said he would also give Cyril �200 to replace his lost money.

A spokesman for Havering Police said that CCTV and forensic inquiries are being carried out.

n Anyone who saw anything – or who may have information in relation to the offence – should call Det Sgt Andy Cane on 101.

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