A GENEROUS charity has repaid an elderly woman the £80 she was scammed out of in her own home.

Peter Mallinson from the Walcot Community Shop charity stepped in to help after reading of the crime in the Adver.

The son of the victim Alan Bowles told the Adver that a conman had tried to sell his elderly mum cheap goods at extortionate prices.

Feeling threatened, the victim then bought a pack of plasters and a torch for £80.

Charity chairman Mr Mallinson said: “As soon as I read the story my reaction was that the Walcot Community Shop was set up exactly to help people like that.

"It’s really sad beyond belief and a pity that we have to do these things.

"You react as if it were your own parent. I sympathised with Alan’s anger and when I saw him I agreed with him 100 per cent.

“If you can’t get through life without robbing old and vulnerable people, you don’t deserve much of a life yourself.

"It’s despicable and they deserve to be caught.”

The chairman met the victim and her son to reimburse the £80 she lost in the ordeal.

Mr Mallinson added: “Alan was really pleased – anybody would be.

"The only thing we can’t deal with is the emotional side of it."

Police learnt the conman had entered the accommodation block by 'tailgating' residents as they returned to their homes, but the suspect has not been identified.

Swindon Borough Council sent advice to Harold Thorpe residents about how to deal with suspicious doorknockers after it received reports of the scam.

Mr Bowles said: “Peter phoned me up out of the blue.

"He’s a nice guy and obviously he’s volunteering so I was very impressed – it gives you the confidence that people are helping the community.

“My mother won’t be opening the door to strangers.

"She’s keeping the door locked and doing the right things now, but her eyesight isn’t great so it’s hard for her to see who’s there by looking through the eye hole.

“She was well pleased, but it’s not just the money - the shock of the event can’t be solved.”

Staff at Walcot Community Shop work to tackle poverty in the area and step in with financial help for other local causes.

The charity is entirely run by volunteers and all profits go to people in the town.

Mr Mallinson added: “We’ve got money in the charity bank but we find it difficult to find people who are truly in poverty to give it to.

"We need help from the