A VETERAN is battling to raise £2,500 to replace life savings stolen from a pensioner who served in WWII.

Former soldier Stuart Allen was appalled to hear of the plight of an elderly couple who were targeted by callous thieves last week.

The WWII veteran, in his 90s, and his wife – who is in her late 80s – were left “shaken and distressed” after a burglary at their Darlington home.

During the afternoon of Thursday, June 8, heartless thieves smashed a window in the backdoor of the Parkside property and fled with £2,000 in cash.

The couple – a former RAF gunner in his nineties and his wife, who is in her late eighties – were not in the house at the time.

After reading about the despicable crime, Mr Allen launched a crowdfunding site in the hope of raising enough money to replace the couple’s life savings.

The Darlington joiner, who left the Army in 2014, said: “Nobody deserves to be burgled but this man served in the Second World War and he gave a lot to this country.

“I want to try and give him something back so I am aiming to raise £2,500 which should be enough to replace their savings as well as their smashed window, and to pay the fundraising site’s fees.

“I’m a veteran myself and I’ve done my time in the Army, I’ve been to Afghanistan and it has just annoyed me so much that someone who has also done their best to defend the country could be left scared in their own home, fearing that they might be robbed again.

“It is shocking and if I could speak to the man, I’d wish him all the best and tell him that I hope he and his wife get over it very soon – I don’t want them to live in fear.”

The 30-year-old added: “This is very close to my heart, this gentleman served in WWII, which was a massive war.

“He has probably seen and gone through a lot – for someone to rob from him is just awful.”

Following the burglary – which took place between 2pm and 4.30pm - police appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

Inspector Chris Knox, from the Darlington Neighbourhood Police Team, said: “This was a despicable crime which has left the elderly couple and their family shaken and distressed.

“After what this man has given to the community, he and his wife should be able to enjoy their later life in peace together.

“I would urge anyone who has any information or anyone who saw anybody acting suspiciously, particularly around the Skinny Bridge area, to get in touch.”

Anyone with information should call Durham Constabulary on non-emergency number 101 quoting incident number 287 of June 8, 2017.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

To donate to the crowdfunding appeal, visit: justgiving.com/crowdfunding/stuart-allan

Mr Allen plans to hand money raised to police officers to pass onto the victims and their family on the community’s behalf.