Bingo hero gets prize

BINGO fan Lee Barber, who missed out on a £500 win when he helped another player suffering a heart attack, has now received his prize.Mr Barber, 34, had just started ticking off the numbers in a £500 jackpot house bingo game at the Mecca Bingo hall on Lloyds Avenue earlier this month when he noticed an elderly woman had slumped forward.

By Nick Richards

BINGO fan Lee Barber, who missed out on a £500 win when he helped another player suffering a heart attack, has now received his prize.

Mr Barber, 34, had just started ticking off the numbers in a £500 jackpot house bingo game at the Mecca Bingo hall on Lloyds Avenue earlier this month when he noticed an elderly woman had slumped forward.

As the game carried on Mr Barber sought help from fellow staff and then helped direct the emergency services to the woman.

When he returned to the game he realised he would have won the jackpot had he not left the room resulting in a second player winning.

Mr Barber, a train driver from Oulton Road, Ipswich and friend Adrian Fisk had been critical of the reaction of Mecca Staff who followed company policy by continuing the game while he tried to summon help from the audience via the bingo caller on stage.

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He had initially been told he would not be receiving the money, but now Mecca have reimbursed him the full £500.

Jackie Abraham a spokeswoman for Mecca Bingo said: "A report into the incident was on two levels – one into the action of staff on duty and one into Mr Barber's winning claim.

"I'm pleased to say that he has now received the £500 he would have won. "We always feel it is better to work with our customers in situations such as this and we have taken on board one of Mr Barber's suggestions that announcements are made when something like this happens."

The son of the woman at the centre of the incident, who wished not to be identified, thanked Mr Barber and Joni Moore, a trained nurse on holiday from America who helped his mother on the night.

He said: "I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Lee Barber and staff of the Mecca bingo and a special thank you to Ms Moore for rushing to the aid of our mother who was taken seriously ill while playing bingo.

"My mum is still feeling a little embarrassed about the whole thing and would rather try and forget about it. She is glad that Lee Barber is getting compensated.

"She is feeling much better now and hopes to be back playing bingo soon."

Mr Barber said he was pleased to have finally received his money and that the lady he had helped was recovering well.

He added that he was encouraged to hear that Mecca may change their company policy in the light of the incident.

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