Suffolk

Ipswich scrapyard to donate thousands from safe to charity

Cash found in safe Image copyright Sackers scrap metal and waste recycling
Image caption The haul was made up of some legal tender and some old notes

Staff at a scrap metal dealer who found about £20,000 as they cut up a safe to be recycled will donate the money to charity after no-one claimed it.

The safe was being opened at Sackers, near Ipswich, when staff noticed one was stuffed with notes and coin bags.

The money has been in police stores since April waiting for the "rightful owner" but they did not come forward.

It will now be given to the East Anglian Children's Hospice (EACH) and St Elizabeth Hospice.

David Dodds, managing director of the Great Blakenham-based dealer, said the two charities to receive the money, which is between £15,000 and £20,000, were "very close to us".

The cash was made up of some legal tender and some old notes and at the time it was found a spokeswoman for the yard said "it had clearly been in there for many years as it was dusty and wet from being in the rain".

Image copyright Sackers scrap metal and waste recycling
Image caption The cash-stuffed safe was one of four being cut up for scrap

Mr Dodds said: "The suspicion is it could have been an old factory that was due for demolition and it was in the corner of their offices. When it's demolished then all the scrap goes into the bin, comes into the works and then we treat it."

The money was handed over to police, who Mr Dodds said had told him "one person came forward but within about 30 nanoseconds they realised they weren't the correct owner of it".

A magistrates' court has now decided that Sackers is the legal owner. The dealer will take the money to the Bank of England in London to transfer it to legal tender before handing it over to the charities.

Liz Baldwin, corporate account executive for St Elizabeth Hospice, said it was "an amazing discovery".

"We're so pleased that they have decided to split the findings with the hospice and EACH," she said.

"It's such a lovely surprise for us just before Christmas."

Rachel Dally, EACH Suffolk corporate fundraising assistant, said "we're very grateful to hear of the company's intention to make another such generous donation".

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