PENSIONERS took in and fed a homeless man during the coronavirus pandemic only for him to steal from them and then flee owing them £1,000 – but they say they have forgiven him and want to help him find a job.

Mike and Jane Haley allowed a young man who called himself Andre to stay in a room they let out via Airbnb in their Worcester home after he promised to pay them back once he started a job in Malvern.

Andre, who said he was from Slovakia, had previously stayed in their Bath Road home for a week in October 2019 and paid them, and then contacted them again on June 26 to say he was homeless and needed somewhere to stay.

He lived with the Haleys for five weeks during which time they loaned him a bicycle, gave him £80 to buy food, cooked for him and even baked him a birthday cake for his 28th.

But on Friday July 31 Andre left suddenly and took his belongings, only leaving behind the birthday card he'd been given by the couple. He stole cash from their savings pot where they had been collecting 50p and £1 coins over the years, and also took the keys to their home, forcing them to change the locks.

Despite the anguish he caused them, the couple say they have forgiven Andre.

Mr Haley, aged 78, said: “All his belongings had gone, but he’d left behind the birthday card we got him which upset my wife. I think he left it behind because he felt guilty.

“We have forgiven him. I was annoyed. But now I realise the lad is in a desperate state. He might even be on the streets now and he just couldn’t afford to pay us.”

Mrs Haley, 63, is still recovering from the coronavirus after she was diagnosed with the deadly disease back in March.

Mr Haley said he’s left voicemails for Andre and offered to help him find accommodation and work.

“He hasn’t come back to me," he said. "He’s probably frightened of the consequences. He didn’t have a place to stay. He came to stay with us as he would have been on the streets.

“All he had was a carrier bag and rucksack and shoes with two big holes in. We couldn’t see him on the street.

“He told us he had no money and was owed money from his job. There was always an excuse. Then he said he’d be getting money from his sister who lives in Austria.

“It was an awkward time and stressful for my wife.”

The couple lost out on over £1,000 that Andre should have paid for the Airbnb so their son James set up a GoFundMe page to recoup their loss. So far, £1,190 has been raised.

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