Big-hearted St Giles Centre businesses put a smile on vandal victim

St Giles Car Park – Shop owners react after disabled pensioner’s car is vandalised

Shops and businesses in Elgin are being praised for rallying around a disabled man who returned to his vehicle in the St Giles Centre car park to find it had been damaged by vandals.

In what was the latest in a series of such attacks in Moray recently 67-year-old Sandy Simpson found his Volkswagen car had a 20-inch long scrape on the driver’s door.

Mr Simpson was left with a £125 repair bill for what he felt was a personal attack – but he was delighted when he learned that big-hearted business owners at the centre had started a bucket collection determined that the pensioner would not be left out of pocket.

Centre manager Angie Chisholm said: “I spoke to several shops in the centre about Sandy’s care being vandalised and they were all quite disgusted by it – they were more than happy to help raise some money to see if they could help him out.”

Mr Simpson said the gesture was “a lovely thing to hear” – but felt that anything raised above the cost of the repair should go to a cancer charity.

Ms Chisholm said: “We all thought we will raise enough to give them what they need, and, if there is any leftover, we will donate it to a local cancer charity as Sandy has requested.”

Baggs of Elgin, Perfect Scents, WH Smiths, The Pastry Company and Witkowskie Jewellers all put collections in place, with David Cairns from Baggs saying that news of the free parking trial was “soured” when they heard what had happened to Mr Simpson.

He added: “With people doing their bit to help traders we thought this was a way to give something back to the customers.”