A 93 year old East London man was taken to hospital yesterday afternoon after he was pulled into a bank's ATM machine along with his bankers card when trying to use it to withdraw money from a hole-in-the-wall cash dispenser machine outside a bank in London's Mile End Road.
The elderly gentlemen, Cyril Ditchwalters, had gone to the machine intending to withdraw some money to buy his 11 year old great grandson one of the chocolate Easter eggs being sold by a nearby shop. He didn't have his reading glasses with him so leaned his face down closer to the screen to find where the slot was for him to insert his card. Unfortunately it seems that after finding the slot and inserting the card his beard was then pulled into the machine along with it.
Standing behind him waiting to use the machine after Mr Ditchwalters was local 'entrapreneur' Danny Stamps.
"It all 'appened s' quickly," says Mr Stamps. "I was standin' a cuppler feet behind the elderly man waitin' t' take me turn at the machine after 'e'd finished usin' it. I saw 'im lean 'is 'ead daan t' the screen, then the next fing I knows is 'is 'ead's disappeared. Never said a word 'e didant. Well, there wasn't time for the poor old bloke t' say a dicky bird like. After 'is 'ead went frew the slot the rest ov 'is body then follered on be'ind it. Last fing I saw was 'is two feet vanishin' inter the slot f' the cards. Obveeissly I 'mediately calls free nines on me mobile but t' be 'onest wiv yer guvner I fort they'd be wastin' their time like. I fort t' meself this old geezers gotta be brown bread after what ees just bin frew."
Fortunately after the cash machine was opened by bank staff Mr Ditchwalters, although understandably a little shaken from his ordeal, was able to crawl out from the machine unaided. Nevertheless, after the ambulance arrived at the scene he took the advice of paramedics to go with them in the ambulance to the nearby London Hospital in Whitechapel to be checked over by doctors. Though apparently unhurt doctors decided to keep him in overnight as a precaution. He was discharged this morning and is now back at home with his wife Mildred in their council flat in Burdett Road. Mildred said today that Cyril is feeling fine. Said Mildred,
"Cyril's as right as ninepence, 'nd says it won't stop 'im from usin' the machine in future. But I've made 'im promise me 'e won't do that until that rotten beards bin shaved off." Added Mildred, "I 'avent liked that beard for over seventy yurrs. It makes 'im look old."