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Alan Barnes attack: Man pleads guilty


A man has pleaded guilty to assaulting disabled pensioner Alan Barnes, for whom more than £300,000 was subsequently raised in donations.

The 67-year-old suffered a broken collarbone when he was knocked to the ground outside his Gateshead home on 25 January.

An online appeal set up on his behalf raised £330,135.

Richard Gatiss, 25, from Gateshead, pleaded guilty to assault with intent to rob at Newcastle Crown Court.

He will be sentenced at a later date.

Richard Gatiss cut a sorry figure when he originally appeared before magistrates. He sat weeping in the dock as the court was told his DNA linked him to the assault.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that Gatiss is “shocked , horrified and deeply ashamed of what he did”. He is also conscious of being in the public eye, the judge was told.

Mr Barnes was putting out his wheelie bin when he was attacked by Gatiss.

Moved by Mr Barnes’s plight, an online appeal to raise £500 was set up by Gateshead beautician Katie Cutler.

It attracted donations from across the globe and quickly passed the initial target.

Mr Barnes has lived with disabilities from birth, after his mother contracted German measles when she was pregnant.

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