“DISGUSTING scumbags” stole a charity collection box from outside a family’s home.

Every year the Counihan family put on a festive light display at their house in Newhaven to raise money for a good cause.

But this year, thieves swiped the collection pot a week after the display was switched on.

Caroline Counihan, 46, hit out at the culprit in an angry post on Facebook.

She said: “To the absolute scum who stole the charity bucket from outside our house tonight, karma is a great thing.

“I hope you never need help or assistance.

“And I’m really sorry to disappoint you, you probably think you got away with lots of money, but it’s a brick inside keeping it from blowing away.

“The bucket is emptied every night so you’re probably feeling a bit disappointed now! Happy Christmas you scumbag!”

The family put the lights up last weekend at their home in Northdown Road.

But at 10pm on Sunday, Caroline’s husband Dave, 49, found the charity box had been ripped off its chain when he went to collect the night’s donations.

He said: “I was really annoyed last night that someone would be doing that to a local charity – it’s pretty disgusting.

“Now we’re hopefully going to get a wooden bucket, so the money will be harder to get out.”

The couple and their three sons Andrew, 15, Adam, 13, and Alex, 9, have put up the lights together ever since they moved into the road six years ago.

Dave added: “It has defiantly not put us off. I’m not letting one bad person put us down.”

The charity box was found in a neighbour’s bin the day after the theft.

This year the family were raising money for a local community transport charity, CTLA, which helps disabled people get out and about.

Caroline said the family had an affinity with the charity as her son Alex, who is disabled, may rely on similar services in the future.

She said: “We’ve always done the lights and we love the them as my little boy is visually impaired.

“We just thought it would be nice to do it for someone local.

“We do it because it’s a nice thing to do and Christmas is all about the children.”

All the decorations on the house are handcrafted by Dave, and Caroline’s father, Freddie.