Ask A Broadsheet Reader

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hazel

Hazel Chu (above) writes:

Hello peeps, need some help with something. My aunt’s house [in Nass, Co Kildare] got broken into last night while her and her two kids were in it. They’re all OK now, thanks. The two scumbags knocked my aunt around a bit and took a pair of pliers to one of the kids mouth and told my aunt what would happen if they didn’t cooperate.

They subsequently trashed the place while taking everything from kid’s pocket money to jewellery. All this while being racially abusive. Delightful really. I would like to say this is an unique incident but sadly it’s happened to my mum, my other aunt and me before in the same way so we know these things happen.

Back to my question, the children were really upset over the whole thing of course but the younger boy of 7 was most upset over the fact that they took all his saved pocket money which he was going to buy a PS4 game. Mum offered to buy him the game to which the poor little thing cried ‘but they took my PS4 too!!’ So today I’m on a mission to buy a cheap PS4. Where does one get one that’s cheap and cheerful? Price I found online is €399, is that the going rate?

Also any ideas for presents for the other child (13 year old girl) would be most appreciated. My brain is not functioning right now. My mission is to give these kids a wonderful Christmas if possible and make them realise that the world is not full of violent thieving racists.

Anyone?

Pic: Hazel

9.03pm Update:

Hazel Chu writes:

Just a follow up to the post in relation to me sourcing a PS4 on the cheap for my 7 year old cousin and ideas on what to get his 13 year old sister. Both of them suffered an aggravated burglary that happened last night  Thankfully both children and mother are safe, traumatised but feeling a bit better today.

Cash, jewellery, the kids’ pocket money and their presents were taken, among which was a PS4. Hence I started my quest this morning to go find a PS4 for the 7 year old and some presents for the 13 year old. I posted it on my Facebook which got reposted here on Broadsheet (I was happy for it to be reposted when I later knew it was here).

What happened next was simply overwhelming. Random strangers offered help of cash and presents. It wasn’t something I was actively looking for and had to initially refuse but I was so touched when people insisted, to the point where they just went ahead and bought vouchers and one kind lady bought the console. Thank you Helen. Thank you Nat King Coleslaw. Thank you to all you kind souls out there offering presents and well wishes. And thank you Broadsheet.

The Gardai have been great and everyone has been very helpful but we’re not holding out on anyone being caught. If they were that would be amazing and would give my aunt (the mother of the kids mentioned) some piece of mind. I think being threatened yourself is scary at the best of times but when they threaten your kids in front of you it’s harder to take.

Anyway, thank you to everyone for reading this and for a your support today. It’s most appreciated. It was a crap thing to happen before Christmas but the response today has somewhat restored my faith in humanity.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

48 thoughts on “Ask A Broadsheet Reader

  1. medieval knievel

    there are places which sell used PS4s; couldn’t tell you the price, but it’s worth ringing Game stores and asking?
    there’s definitely a shop in Omni centre in santry, i think it’s called CeX.

    1. Hazel

      Hi everyone, Hazel here. I showed my mum and my aunt the posts and they were so touched and my aunt just cried. I think after last night she kind of lost faith in humanity a little. I want to say a huge thank you to all of you who offered help and kind wishes. A huge huge thank you to Helen who kindly donated a PS4 even though I told her there are people out there who need it more than us (she’s an angel who wouldn’t listen though) and Nat King Coleslaw who’s insisting on giving the little one a game. Thank you so much guys and thank you to everyone here and to Broadsheet. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas. Best wishes-Hazel Chu

  2. Murph Mikey

    terrible story and i feel sorry for you and your family. Cant help on the PS4 front, i still only have a PS3!….anyway, all i can say is that i believe in Karma and that these scumbags will get their payback one day….. keep the head up and hope you have a great Christmas..

  3. Nigel

    That’s horrific. Hazel, I see you’re on twitter. If you DM me @Nigellicus and send me either their address or yours I’ll post a copy of my book, which is aimed at 9-13 year olds. I won’t be able to post it til next week, and it won’t get there for Christmas, but it’ll get there. Can’t make up for what happened, though.

  4. Lyn

    I have a few spare little gifts if that could help, I followed you on Twitter if you want dm me.
    Also call svp ASAP as they will have lots that could help.

  5. Ian

    Someone ring the Garda press office to confirm this. There are PLENTY of fakers writing posts on social media at the moment, claiming that similar things happened to them, but were later proved false.

    1. Hazel

      Thanks so much folks, thanks for the offer Nat King Coleslaw, R, much appreciated!! Eoin, fully understand the cynicism, more than happy for you to confirm it at Naas Garda Station and the home invasion was in Johnstown. Thanks for all the support folks and Merry Christmas-Hazel Chu

    2. The People's Hero

      Oooh….. Shouty…..

      Looks like the only thing someone needed to do was READ A DAMN NEWSPAPER….

  6. Hazel

    Sorry Eoin!!! I got the wrong name. Was writing to thank you for the offer of the PS3 :) Got you mixed up with Ian there. Anyways thanks so much for everyones kind offers and have a wonderful Christmas-Hazel

  7. Helen

    Broadsheet, not commented before so not sure how this works. Would you pass my mobile phone number onto Hazel. She can contact me and we can arrange somewhere for her to collect a new PS4 (Smyths, Argos or somewhere) that I will order and pay for. My number is [Redacted]. Would be great if Hazel could get in touch soon while I’m still using the office PC :-)

    1. Hazel

      Hi everyone, Hazel here. I showed my mum and my aunt the posts and they were so touched and my aunt just cried. I think after last night she kind of lost faith in humanity a little. I want to say a huge thank you to all of you who offered help and kind wishes. A huge huge thank you to Helen who kindly donated a PS4 even though I told her there are people out there who need it more than us (she’s an angel who wouldn’t listen though) and Nat King Coleslaw who’s insisting on giving the little one a game. Thank you so much guys and thank you to everyone here and to Broadsheet. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas. Best wishes-Hazel Chu

      1. Joe Dolan

        Late to this, but well done Helen/broadsheet..Are donations closed? If not, pass on my email bodger as I’d like to make a donation. Hope it’s a decent Xmas for you guys…

      1. meadowlark

        That’s a Christmas miracle you’ve worked there. How kind of you. Hope you all have a happy xmas.

  8. iseult

    Huge sympathy to you and your family…truly dreadful experience – poor kids. Hope your Christmas is a peaceful and restful one. Apologies I can’t give any guidance on PS4…

  9. Paddy

    Broadsheet, reading that thread illustrated the decency that abounds in this country. Very sorry for your horrendous experience Hazel: I wish your family peace and good luck. Well done, all.

  10. Tracey

    Hi Hazel,

    CEX in the Square have an unboxed secondhand PS4 for sale for €350. Their stuff is usually in quite good nick and if you explain your situation they may even do something on the price/throw in some extras:
    https://ie.webuy.com/search/index.php?stext=*&catid=997&rad_which_stock=3&refinebystore=1512

    I have a new, unopened copy of Minecraft for PS4 that I’d bought for my nephews. If you get a PS4, I will drop it into the Embassy on Main St. for you tonight – just DM me on Twitter – sittinginapie. I’ve just followed you. Such a terrible thing to have happen. I wish I could think of something else to help.

  11. Kolmo

    Shocking story. I don’t think I’d be in the mood for any type of Christmas after that horror, great to see people coming to help, confirming the inherent goodness around us.

    I hope the Gardaí get all the assistance they require hunting and prosecuting the empty husks of humanity that would inflict this type of horror on children. Really shocked at that story.

  12. bags

    you should setup a crowdfund page, I’d happily contribute some money. how much is the game? whats your twitter handle ?

    1. hazel

      Hi guys, thanks for the offer. We got sorted for the console, it was so generous of Helen. My twitter is @hazechu I spoke to my aunt and she was in tears when I told her how generous people are being but insist that there’s others in far worse state and doesn’t think any funds should go towards them. She did say thanks a million for all the support. Merry Christmas.

  13. Granty

    For once the comments on a post here on Broadsheet reaffirm my faith in humanity. Fair play to Helen and all the rest of you. Have a great Christmas Hazel.

  14. Isallimsaying

    Not saying this for any reason other than empathy, my mum (80) answered the door to teenage carol singers when one lad had an hypoglycaemic fit. She went to get him some sugar. He followed her in, took her purse and they scarpered. We’ve told her umpteen times not to trust folk at the door, but she says she wasn’t brought up to shut the door in someone’s face. She lost a few hundred quid she can prolly afford, but it’s the betrayal of trust had her in tears for days – that someone would use Christmas, and generosity, and goodwill to cynically abuse an elderly and trusting woman. Just my tuppence.

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