A homeless hero who sprung into action when a woman was mugged in Margate appeals for help to get off the streets

Sid has been living with Beagle Bobbi in the Baptist Church doorway

Big-hearted Margate residents have sprung into action after discovering the man who defended a woman from being mugged on Monday is living on the streets.

Sid Juttla leapt to the woman’s defence after hearing her scream when a man tried to snatch her money in Cecil Square.

The 39-year-old tackled the culprit, bringing him to the ground, and restrained him with the help of another man until police arrived.

The ‘mugging’

Sid, who asked not to be pictured, has been sleeping in the doorway of the Baptist church with his rescue dog Bobby since February. It was while he was in the doorway that he witnessed the attempted mugging.

He said: “I live in the Baptist Church doorway, opposite the courts, and have done since February. I was sitting on my bed with my dog when I heard the woman screaming.

“I jumped up and saw the geezer legging it with the woman screaming after him. Everyone was standing there but I thought ‘I’m not having this’ so I ran after him and then restrained him with the help of a man called Bill.”

Life on the streets

The former Conyngham pupil hit hard times after leaving a mental health unit in Sussex but receiving no follow up support.

Sid went through the care system and then the mental health system to help him cope with depression and self-harming.

But he feels he could be on the road to recovery if he could find a home for himself and Bobby and a job.

The hurdle has been finding a home that will accept Bobbi as well.

Sid said: “I left he hospital in Sussex but there was no car package and my mental health took a dive.

“Being on the street is hard mentally. It is difficult being alone, just difficult full stop.

“I’ve not really slept properly since I have been here and neither has Bobby who is on guard 24/7 but I do feel better mentally just now.

“I have approached everywhere, Porchlight, Gap, but landlords won’t take the dog.

“My dog is the reason I get up in the morning. I got him from the rescue kennels, they were having problems housing him. Someone let him down, he was in the kennels, I had been in the care system, we are a package.”

Community help

Since the incident members of the public have rallied to support Sid. He has been given clothing, duvet and dinner from resident Jayne Davis and her family and help from former Independent election candidate Pip Rees.

A meeting has also been arranged with Porchlight this morning (August 2) in the hope that housing can be found.

Sid is hoping someone will also offer him work, and a home if Porchlight is unable to help.

Rebuilding a life

He said: “I can work in the motor trade, welding, whatever is available, I am willing to do it. I just want to start rebuilding my life and have some security for myself and the dog.

“If someone gave me the opportunity to work I could contribute to society and get myself back. I just want to be normal instead of some dude sitting on the street.”

If you can offer Sid work or housing contact Pip Rees on 07864694095 or leave a message with Ryan on 07539818926 or pop down to the Baptist Church and speak to Sid in person.

Arrest

A man has been charged in connection with a cashpoint theft in Margate.

It was reported that at around 1pm on Monday 31 July, a woman was using a cashpoint near to Cecil Square when she had a quantity of cash stolen from her.

The cash was recovered and returned to the victim shortly after by members of the public. Officers from Thanet Local District Policing Team attended the scene and arrested a man in Union Row.

Matthew Martin, 47 and of no fixed address, was charged with one count of theft on 31 July.  He has been released on bail to appear at Margate Magistrates’ Court on 15 August.

A report by Mind

Image Newscast Online/Mind

In April mental health charity Mind released a report  saying one in ten people discharged from mental health hospitals after being admitted in crisis are not getting follow-up care within a week of leaving.

This equals 11,000 people nationally every year.

Follow up – usually a face-to-face visit or a phone call – provides continued contact and ensures that the right ongoing support is in place.

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines  state that all patients should be followed up within seven days because people are at high risk of post-discharge suicide in the first week.

The report says a lack of appropriate follow-up is putting significant pressure on the NHS as people not getting the help they need are more than twice as likely to end up in A&E as a result of their mental health.

According to the data Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust followed up within seven days with 2200 of the 2369 people discharged.

This meant 169 people did not receive the recommended after-care but 93% of people did.

 

The growing crisis of homelessness

Last month Kent homelessness charity Porchlight appealed for funds to help with the “frightening” level of people sleeping on the streets of the county.

Over the past year (1 April – 31 March), the Porchlight street team worked with 707 rough sleepers in Kent. Two years previously, it was 385.

 

Get help

Homelessness

Porchlight helpline 0800 567 76 99

Thanet Families in Need housing support

Mental health support

 The Samaritans 116 123 jo@samaritans.org