THE people of the Shankill Road will be asked to dig deep in their pockets on Christmas Eve and help an elderly lady get her money back.
The 64-year-old was in Nelson Square when he was assaulted and her handbag snatched by heartless thugs.
North Belfast DUP MLA William Humphrey has commended the response of the Shankill community in rallying to her aid.
Said William Humphrey: “This was a disgraceful and cowardly attack on an innocent senior citizen.
“Mrs Butler was grabbed from behind and thrown to the ground by the assailant who stole her handbag and fled in the direction of Conway Street.
“In the process of the attack she suffered a dislocated shoulder, requiring hospital treatment until the early hours of this morning until it was reset.
I visited Mrs Butler at her home this morning, along with party colleague Alderman Brian Kingston.
“In contrast to the viciousness of her ordeal, it was positive to see the close support being provided by her family and by the local community.
I was able to inform her that local football team Berlin Swifts FC will be carrying out a collection tomorrow (Christmas Eve) from 11am on the Shankill Road as a means of compensation for the money which was stolen from her and as a show of community support.
“It is encouraging to see the true face of the Shankill community being demonstrated by this spontaneous community response.
“I appeal again for anyone who can assist the police to catch the low-life responsible for this appalling crime to call the police on 101 without delay.
“Any assault against an innocent senior citizen must be treated with utmost seriousness. This assailant must be caught and put behind bars.”