Great Britain

Pensioner's entire garden path stolen – but there's a happy ending

GOOD Samaritan Ben Kitchingman has given a pensioner hit by thieves an amazing Christmas gift.

Seeing that cruel raiders had taken all the paving stones from Ronnie Hague’s garden, the young businessman swung into action and replaced the lot – free of charge.

His seasonal gesture of goodwill has left the family stunned with gratitude.

“We were so upset when dad’s paving was stolen,” said Ronnie’s daughter, Sue Rhodes.

“But this shows there are wonderful people like Ben out there. We are so grateful.”

Ben, who is 27 and runs his own landscaping business at East Bierley, said: “I lost my grandad recently. So if you can’t help someone like Ronnie, who can you help?”

Thieves struck at 84-year-old Ronnie’s Cleckheaton home during Saturday night.

He wasn’t even aware of the theft until family arrived on Sunday for a day out.

“I was furious when I saw what had happened,” said Sue, 59 and from Heckmondwike.

So she took to social media site Cleckheaton Matters to vent her anger.

“The site just went wild,” she said.

“The generosity of people was unbelievable.

“Dad would have had trouble getting out if Ben hadn’t done this.

“The thieves left a real mess as they dragged the stones out and pulled part of a wall down.

“Ben put it all right. When we got back from our day out we were amazed to see it was done. He has been a treasure.

“So from something horrible there has been a good outcome. Beyond belief.

“I never expected a response like this. It has been astonishing.

“We have had lots of other offers of help for which we are so grateful.

Ben said he was worried about the safety aspect of Ronnie’s paving stones being taken.

“I thought: ‘How, at 84, is he going to get down his garden without paving?’”, he said.

“I had some flags left over from another job so I posted on the site that I was willing to put them down for free.

“The site went mental. Everyone was commenting, saying ‘well done’. But I didn’t do it for praise.”

With the flags weighing around 80kilos each, Ben got a friend to help him put them in place and said such a job could easily cost around £500.

“Ronnie had gone out with his family so it was a surprise for him when he got home,” said Ben.

“He rang me later and invited me out with his family after Christmas.

“He was so grateful he broke down while we were talking.

“Sue told me they are overwhelmed. But I was only too glad to help.”