Father of Celebrity Masterchef winner recounts Hitchin bank theft

The money was taken while the couple were in Hitchin town centre

The money was taken while the couple were in Hitchin town centre - Credit: Archant

The father of a famous writer and actress has spoken to the Comet after having his life savings stolen.

Tony Williams and his wife Brenda, who is a wheelchair user, were targeted in Hitchin town centre after withdrawing a large quantity of cash from Lloyds Bank at around 11.30am on Friday.

Mr Williams, 74, whose daughter Emma Kennedy has appeared in comedy crime drama Jonathan Creek and won the BBC’s Celebrity Masterchef programme in 2012, said: “We had withdrawn the money inside the bank and I was counting it in the foyer just to check.

“I placed the money inside a brown envelope and put it inside my shoulder bag.

“We walked out of the bank to go to the Nationwide bank across the road and when I got there and checked in my bag the money had gone. I didn’t feel a thing.”

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The money was stolen at some point between when the couple left Lloyds Bank in Bancroft and walked to Market Place where Nationwide Bank is situated, although it is not yet clear exactly how it happened.

The couple had withdrawn the money to pay off the remainder of their mortgage as well as give some to their daughter Ms Kennedy and a nephew.

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Ms Kennedy took to social networking site Twitter soon after the theft.

She wrote: “To the people who just mugged my parents. (My mother was in a wheelchair). Know this, I am incapable of wishing you anything other than ill.”

In another tweet, the former student at Hitchin Girls’ School wrote: “They took the money off them outside Lloyds bank in Hitchin. PLEASE, if anyone saw anything, PLEASE come forward.”

Mr Williams, the former head of art and design at North Hertfordshire College, added: “Emma said that it was better that the money went this way and that I wasn’t hurt, but it is very upsetting.

“I hope the police can get the CCTV footage from the bank and find the person or people that did this.

“We have never lost any money and have always been very careful. If anyone saw anything please contact the police.”

Officers would like to speak to anyone who remembers seeing Mr and Mrs Williams or anyone acting suspiciously near the couple around the time of the incident.

Anyone with information is asked to call Police Constable Leigh Brightman on police non-emergency number 101.

Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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