Remorseful mystery punter returns Jim’s £10 with interest after 30 years

Well-known Derry shopkeeper Jim Barr got the surprise of his life recently when a remorseful mystery punter returned a decades old debt completely out of the blue!

By Kevin Mullan
Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 12:45 pm
Carnhill shopkeeper Jim Barr with a copy of the letter which landed on New Year’s night.
Carnhill shopkeeper Jim Barr with a copy of the letter which landed on New Year’s night.

On New Year’s night an anonymous letter addressed to Jim explained how he had been ‘done’ out of change by a young customer at his mobile shop in Carnhill at some point in the early 1990s.

Amazingly the guilt-stricken shopper has now come clean and explained to Jim how they had pretended that they had given him a £20 note when they had really only handed him a tenner.

The punter has now made good on the debt with interest.

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The heart-warming letter explaining the decision to repay a debt of roughly 30 years.

The note, addressed to Jim, reads: “This is a little note to say thank you and sorry. Many, many years ago I stole £10 from you.

“I pretended my ma and da gave me a £20 when they only gave me £10. You knew. You told me to double check. I pretended I did and so you gave me the extra £10.

“I am sure you knew. I am sure your till was down a tenner that day. You never mentioned it to me or my parents.

“Very sorry! There is my debt and interest!!! (Nearly 30 years!!). Much appreciated.

“Thank you for being a pillar of the community and not bringing shame on my ma and da. God bless!”

Enclosed with the letter were two crisp £20 notes as recompense for the loss.

Jim, speaking to the ‘Journal’, said he hasn’t the faintest idea about the identity of the mystery correspondent.

“I don’t even know if it was a fellah or a girl that left it in. There is no name or anything like that at all on it. You are talking about 30 years ago.

“As you can see from the letter he or she came down and must have said that they had given me £20 and I must have told them to go up to the house and check with their ma and da. You are talking thirty years ago and £20 was £20. It would have been hard enough times.

“So they must have come back and said that their ma told them that they had given them £20 so no hesitation I gave them the benefit of the doubt and gave them the change back.”

Fast forward three decades and a pang of remorse and the passage of time must have inspired the individual to make amends and pen the letter.

Jim said the honesty behind the gesture was heartwarming and told the ‘Journal’ that he is going to donate the £40 to charity.

“Out of the blue this person came down and wrote this letter. I couldn’t believe it when I was reading it how honest they were. They must be a fair age today.

“I haven’t got a clue who it was. It’s a mystery person but the honesty that was attached to it is the greatest thing of all. Fair play to them. I don’t need it thank God or anything like that but they said they are giving me the tenner back again with a bit of interest, a pound for every year.

“I’m giving that to charity. I think that’s the nicest thing to do, to pass it on to help some poor critter that needs it.”