Kate Copstick mugging: Funding plea sees £12,000 raised after £8500 stolen in attack

A funding plea to help replace £8,500 of charity cash taken from a Scottish TV personality in a street mugging has seen more than £12,000 raised in a GoFundMe campaign in just 24 hours.

Kate Copstick was on her way home with the charity shop's takings.
Kate Copstick was on her way home with the charity shop's takings.

Kate Copstick, a festival reviewer for The Scotsman, was walking home through Shepherd’s Bush in London on Saturday evening with takings from her charity shop when she says two men in dark clothing and balaclavas kicked her to the ground and made off with the cash.

She had been due to fly out to Kenya on Monday to help women in need via her charity Mama Biashara, and had been planning to carry the cash with her due to ongoing issues with accessing money from a UK Bank.

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But now a page has been set up to recoup some of the lost money, which was to be used to help a group of women fleeing female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriage and extreme violence.

As police confirmed they were investigating the attack, the GoFundMe page has already surpassed the charity funds lost, reaching more than £12,000.

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Officers at the Metropolitan Police say there have not yet been any arrests.

A spokesperson said: “Police were called at approximately 8:30pm on Saturday, September 3 to reports of a woman robbed of a quantity of cash in Shepherds Bush, W12.

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“Officers attended. The woman, aged in her 60s, was not seriously hurt during the incident.

"She stated two men approached her before forcing her to the ground and stealing cash from her rucksack.

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“Enquiries into the circumstances continue including work to secure any viable CCTV evidence.

"Anyone with information that could assist police is asked to call 101”.

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Ms Copstick said: “I was walking home, it wasn’t very late and the street I live on is very well lit. I heard running behind me and turned to see the kind of outfit you only normally see in TV dramas – someone dressed head-to-toe in black, with a full face balaclava.

"He grabbed for my bag and I began to scream and shout for help. He put me in a chokehold and suddenly a second man – dressed exactly the same – appeared.

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"I thought they were going to kill me. They kicked me to the ground, took the money and ran.

"I live in a not-posh area of Shepherd’s Bush – there is crime, there are muggings, but it’s generally kids looking to steal a few quid, not full-grown men essentially dressed like ninjas.

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"They didn’t take anything else, which sadly means I was very likely targeted, and that someone knew I would be carrying a significant amount of charity cash with me. I’m talking to the police about that now.”

The 66-year-old critic, director, producer and charity boss has had a long TV career hosting in the 1980s and appeared on children's TV shows Playschool and No 73 in the 1980s, as well as ChuckleVision in the 1990s.

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At the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Ms Copstick was a Perrier Comedy Award judge in 2003 and 2004 and she now works as one of the most respected comedy critics at the Fringe, writing for The Scotsman each August.

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