The son of a Worthing man whose wallet was stolen as he lay dying at at Hastings railway station has spoken of his disgust over the theft.
David Edward Lovett, of Broadwater Street East, in Worthing, died on the platform at Hastings railway station at 10.30pm on Saturday, August 25, after going into cardiac arrest, British Transport Police confirmed.
His son, Rich Lovett, said his father had travelled to the town to see Lipstick on Your Collar at the White Rock Theatre at 7.30pm.
After the show, the 66-year-old father of two returned to the station and was sitting on the bench at the platform at 10.10pm when he was seen struggling to breathe.
He fell to the ground and two women ran to his aid and raised the alarm with station staff.
While they tried to revive David, Rich said a person was caught on CCTV walking over and picking up his wallet from the ground.
Rich said: “It’s the lowest of the low. It’s absolutely disgusting.”
“I’m very angry that someone has done this to my father when he was at death’s door.
“I know it was my father but even it had been another member of the public I would be extremely horrified and angry.”
British Transport Police confirmed officers were investigating the possible theft of Mr Lovett’s wallet.
Without the wallet, officers were not immediately able to identify David, who had no other form of identification with him.
Detectives managed to track down David’s address from his train tickets, which he had bought online, but it was not until last Tuesday evening that Rich, who lives in North Wales, was informed of what had happened.
“It was a shock,” Rich said. “It’s been a very trying few days.”
Rich said he and his brother Mark had been estranged from their father since he separated from their mother after 20 years of marriage.
David was one of four siblings, Rich said, and had worked at a Renault car dealership when Rich was a child.
Through David’s neighbours, who have helped Rich find out more about his father’s life, Rich learned David had lived in Broadwater Street East for 13 years.
He enjoyed going to shows and concerts and played several instruments, including the keyboard, piano and guitar.
“He was into his music in a big way, he liked writing music and songs,” said Rich.
“He was a knowledgeable man. Even when I was young, he was a very smart man and very outspoken.”
Rich said he had found many books among his father’s possessions, including several on law.
David had suffered a heart attack in 2004 and had a few other health problems, but after being advised by doctors to get healthier he took up cycling and walking and was ‘quite an active person’, Rich said.
He was well-known at the Rose and Crown pub, where he went every Sunday for lunch and a chat.
Rich has organised a service for his father at Hastings Crematoriam at 9.30am on Thursday (September 6).
All those who knew him are invited to attend.
Rich, a father of three, said he wants the thief to be brought to justice. “I wouldn’t want this to happen to anyone else,” he added.
British Transport Police are asking for anyone who was at Hastings railway station at the time and may have information to call 0800 405040 or text 61016 quoting 681 of 25 August.
Rich said he wanted to thank the two women, railway staff and paramedics who helped his father at the scene.
“I couldn’t be more grateful,” the 39-year-old said.
“Everybody that was there worked together, they all helped.
“They may never have known who he was but they all came to his aid and I’m so pleased.
“That’s what a normal, decent person would do. The majority of people are honourable and decent.”