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Woman's bag stolen as she fought to save Brighton crash man's life
A thief stole a handbag from a woman as she valiantly battled to save the life of a man who was dying in the road.
The offender has been condemned as ‘sick’ following the incident in Bear Road, Brighton, yesterday afternoon (September 20).
Tragically the man, who crashed his van into a road sign at the junction of Newmarket Terrace, died.
The man, in his 60s and from Sussex, was with a passenger, believed to be his son, when the incident happened.
Police confirmed that a woman driver, who had come to the aid of the man after he collapsed, had her handbag stolen.
It was later found thrown over a nearby fence into a garden with her wallet was missing.
Locals said they believed the woman had been attempting to resuscitate the man when her handbag was pilfered from her van, parked close by.
One paramedic at the scene said: “It is absolutely disgusting.”
A police spokeswoman added: “It really is despicable.”
Mayor Bill Randall added: “It is outrageous. It really reaches the depths of bad behaviour.
“To know that people behave like that in our city is horrible although I don’t think it is typical of Brighton and Hove.
“It beggars belief.
“I feel very sorry for the woman as she was acting as a Good Samaritan and she was treated in such a callous way.
“I hope this won’t discourage other people from looking out for their neighbours – I don’t think it will.
“It takes your breath away.”
Davie McKay, of Grove Street, Hanover, who was painting a house in Bear Road when the collision happened, said: “The person that stole the handbag is a lowlife.
“He is like something on the bottom of my shoe.
“I really feel for the man who died and his family.”
Colin Deans, who runs a newsagents’ in Bear Road, said he understood that the man suffered a heart attack at the wheel.
He said he went outside and saw a woman screaming.
Offering his sympathies to the deceased man’s family, he said: “It is a terrible thing to happen.”
He added: “For someone to take a woman’s handbag who was trying to help it makes it worse.”
John Stringer, who works in Bear Road, added: “I heard that a woman who had stopped to help him had her handbag taken, that was what people were saying.”
Councillor Anne Meadows , who represents the Moulsecoomb and Bevendean ward, of which Bear Road is on the border, said: “This is a disgraceful thing to have happened.
“I fear it is symptomatic of our society and I feel for the woman who was working so hard to save this man’s life.
“The thief clearly had no sympathy to the man, the woman who was trying to save him or his family.
“It is a callous thing to do and I hope her property is recovered.
“My sympathies are with her and the victim’s family.”
Simon Kirby MP, whose Brighton Kemptown ward includes Bear Road, said: “This is a shocking and appalling theft.
“My thoughts go out to the family and friends of the deceased and also to the heroic lady who tried to resuscitate him only for this to happen.
“Her bravery and humanity are in stark contrast to the coward who stole her bag.
“I would call on anyone with any information to contact the police.”
The victim’s family were at the scene but were too devastated too speak.
Police cordoned off the road following the tragedy at 1.25pm.
A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: “Police are appealing for witnesses to a fatal collision in Bear Road, Brighton.
“A large blue van collided with a road sign.
“A wallet was stolen from the bag of the woman who went to help at the scene. The bag was found dumped in a nearby garden minus the wallet. ”
Anyone who saw the collision is asked to call Sussex Police on 101 quoting Operation Pleat.