Drinkers come to the rescue after theft

PUNTERS at an Ipswich pub have proved that kindness can win out over wrongdoing.

PUNTERS at an Ipswich pub have proved that kindness can win out over wrongdoing.

The generous patrons of The Garland pub, in Humber Doucy Lane, Ipswich have managed to club together three times the amount of charity cash stolen from the bar by callous thieves last month.

Landlord Derek Hall had intended the glass water jug containing around �90 to go to a charity which helps youngsters with special needs take part in the annual Pool World Championships.

But his kind-hearted plans were ruined when the money was cruelly snatched at the end of February.

Mr Hall, who plays pool for Ireland, preparing for a competition when the crooks struck.

He said: “The jar had notes in it so I would have a look when I walked past.

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“There were only two people in the pub and when they left I came out to the bar and saw the jar had gone.”

After hearing about the sneaky theft, Mr Hall's customers pledged to raise the money again and outdid themselves by collecting �270.

Two individual donations of �100 came from one regular and a Suffolk company, Roxburgh Roofing Ltd.

Mr Hall, also known as Holly, said: “The money raised is absolutely superb.

“I play in the World Championships every year and when I've finished I referee the special needs competition.

“The money will help pay for the players to stay in a hotel and cover food costs.”

And the fundraising doesn't stop there for the staff and regulars at The Garland, who are planning a prize-filled charity quiz night for Thursday, April 2.

The quiz will be held just two days before Mr Hall is set to travel to Bridlington for this year's pool competition.

The quiz starts at 7pm and costs �10 for a team of four. To book a place call the pub on 01473 727447.

Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Have you and your friends pooled together for charity? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

SPEAKING immediately after the theft, Garland landlord Derek Hall told of his fury at the callous act.

Mr Hall said: “I am completely gutted. I am one of the referees at the championships and you get so involved with the kids.

“It is such an important event for them - they really look forward to it.

“The money goes to help pay their hotel and food costs and allows them to go and take part. We do it every year.

“It is horrible. It is the first time something like this has happened.”

The police enquiry into the theft is continuing.

Detectives are appealing for anyone who has information about the incident to get in touch.

The first woman believed to be involved was 20 to 25, with jet black dyed hair tied up in a high bun, a grey leather short sleeved jacket and a multicoloured jersey. She also possibly had a nose stud.

The second was about 30, with mousey blonde hair tied up in a pony tail and was wearing a black leather cropped jacket.

Anyone with information should call Pc Catherine Steel at Ipswich Neighbourhood Response Team on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.