Smiles all round! Mugging victim gets new phone

The smile was back on the face of a popular Lincoln man after friends, locals and businesses helped him get a new phone, raising money after he was mugged this week.

As previously reported, Oliver Wells, 30, who suffers from cerebral palsy, was grabbed, threatened and robbed of his phone.

He had just left the Dog and Bone pub on John Street and was heading home when the incident happened at around 8pm on Monday, November 19.

A Just Giving page set up by his friend Will Sleight, who has known him for several years, has raised over £750.

Oliver Wells with his friend Will Sleight. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Will is hoping to use some of the money raised to buy Oliver a shock proof tablet for disabled people, which he can use to help him with communication, but he is planning to contact Just Giving first to find out what can happen with the money.

After the original appeal on The Lincolnite, Team Knowhow – the warehouse, returns and repair centre for Dixons Carphone – got in touch wanting to donate a free replacement phone to Oliver.

The company wanted to donate the phone so he could have the fundraising money to spend on himself, perhaps towards a happy Christmas.

Repair Centre Manager at Dixons Carphone Gary Ingham donated a new phone to Oliver. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Phone surprise and other donations

Repair Centre Manager at Dixons Carphone Gary Ingham presented the phone to a surprised and happy Oliver on Thursday afternoon at the Lincoln Carphone Warehouse store, who donated a Vodafone SIM card.

Oliver was overwhelmed with emotion when the phone was presented to him, but that wasn’t the end of the story.

Oliver Wells with Central Cafe owner John Armstrong. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Owners at Central Cafe in the city market, John and Lee Armstrong, along with staff Emma Wilks and customer Debbie Brooking raised funds for Oliver with a significant undisclosed sum, which will be revealed to him over the weekend.

John said: “We heard what happened and wanted to help. He’s been a customers for several years and he’s a very popular and clever man.”

The nearby Witch & Wardrobe pub had a whip-round, which they are using to purchase him a panic alarm.

Tearful moment

Oliver said he felt “tearful and nearly cried” after the surprise of the new phone.

He said: “I am happy, I thought I would have to get a second hand one, I am surprised, but very happy. I want to thank everyone.”

Will added: “I want to thank the people of Lincoln for what they’ve done. Everyone knows him, people always stop to say hello. I’ve know him for three years, he’s as special friend.

“The mugging shook him up, he’s still not himself, but it’s good to see the smile back today.”

Suspect caught

Police put out an appeal to try and find the suspect for an incident matching all the same details.

A man in his 20s was taken into custody on suspicion of robbery. He has since been bailed whilst further enquiries are underway.