Corbridge man, 92, missing from sheltered housing

Thomas Diggle Thomas Diggle has lived at Riverhill for two years

Police are becoming increasingly concerned for the welfare of a 92-year-old man missing from sheltered accommodation in Northumberland.

Thomas Diggle, who lives at Riverhill, an Abbeyfield house in Corbridge, was last seen at 21:30 GMT on Thursday.

Staff realised he was gone when he did not turn up for his morning coffee.

Ch Supt Gordon Milward said searchers felt "the pressure to find him as quickly as possible" considering his age and the foggy, wet weather.

Mr Diggle's daughter Dee Napier said he was a "strong, independent man" who would not do anything unplanned or spontaneous.

'Alarming to watch'

"His balance is really poor - he looks like he's going to fall backwards," she said.

"You would notice him walking along, he's alarming to watch. He can't have got very far."

Start Quote

The smallest piece of information could be the vital clue that we need”

End Quote Ch Supt Gordon Milward

It is thought he left early in the morning as his bed was slept in but not made, something he was normally meticulous about doing, she added.

Ch Supt Milward said the 92-year-old often walked to a nearby shop to buy a morning paper but did not seem to have done so on the day he was found missing.

"He's a man who's well known in Corbridge. We're building up a picture of his movements and his habits," he said.

"If anybody knows anything about him and his lifestyle that would assist, please give us a ring. The smallest piece of information could be the vital clue that we need."

Sniffer dogs and search and rescue teams are helping police and the local community look for Mr Diggle.

He is described as white, 5ft 9in (1.75m) tall, with thin grey hair. He walks with a stoop and uses a stick.

His behaviour when he was last seen was normal and "nothing untoward", senior house manager Donna Summerson said.

His disappearance was "completely out of character", she added.

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