CCTV appeal to catch yob who smashed window at South Shields charity shop

Charity fundraisers in South Shields have slammed a yob who kicked in their shop window in a “mindless act” which is set to cost them thousands of pounds.

Bosses at the Charlie Cookson Foundation say they face the expense of installing protective metal roller shutters at their outlet at the Denmark Centre, at the bottom of Fowler Street.

Chris Cookson and Joanne Nicholson beside the broken window at the charity shop.

Chris Cookson and Joanne Nicholson beside the broken window at the charity shop.

They today appealed for the public’s help in identifying the perpetrator, who struck at 7.45pm last Thursday.

In CCTV images captured on a camera inside the premises, he is seen walking past, quickly stopping to turn his back on the window and then kicking it, cracking the glass.

The foundation, named after two-year-old Charlie Cookson, who died in October 2013, opened the outlet last April.

From there, the charity raises funds which support the parents of seriously ill children with life limiting conditions who require round-the-clock nursing care or specialist nursing facilities.

Joanne Nicholson and Chris Cookson say they will have have to spend 2,000 on shutters for the charity shop.

Joanne Nicholson and Chris Cookson say they will have have to spend 2,000 on shutters for the charity shop.

Today, Charlie’s mum, Sarah, 42, slammed the attacker, saying: “I just hope that this person may see this and read what affect his one act of selfishness has had on our charity.

“This vandalism hurt us, not only financially but in our hearts. We are still protecting our boy, even though he is flying above us.

“We try to avoid additional costs to allow us to meet our aims and our constitution, we manage every single penny that is donated to enable us to fund so many families.”

Joanne Nicholson, the charity’s fundraising and events manager, added: “This is a mindless act of a vandalism. There is no reason or justification for it whatsoever, it is just futile.

“The CCTV shows that he has just walked up to the shop, turned his back on the window and kicked it.

“We are all very angry about this and incredibly frustrated. We will have to spend about £2,000 on the shutters and we also have to replace the window.

“This is all money that we would have used to support a family.

“We want this man caught and brought to justice and I hope he can be identified.”

The charity requires around £3,000 a month to lift the financial burden on a family needing its support.

For the first nine weeks of his life, Charlie was cared for within a special care baby unit.

Over the next two years, he underwent regular hospital treatment for muscle and bone problems.

His bravery was recognised in April 2013 when he was given the South Tyneside Child of Courage Award.

Sadly, Charlie also suffered from breathing difficulties, life-threatening infections and epileptic seizures, which led to a deterioration in his health that could not be reversed.

The foundation has donated more than £170,000 to support families.

Further details about its work are available at www.charliecookson.org.uk

Northumbria Police confirmed it was investigating the act of vandalism.

A spokeswoman said: “Inquiries are ongoing and CCTV is being reviewed by officers.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting reference number 249 of 16/03/18.