Luton homeless man helps collapsed stranger on street as everyone else ‘just carries on walking’

Jonathan, Lydia and Biggy.
Jonathan, Lydia and Biggy.

A homeless Luton man who rushed to the aid of a stranger who had collapsed was shocked by the number of people who turned a blind eye and didn’t offer to help.

Jonathan Prigmore, 56, lives in a tent near the junction of New Bedford Road, the busway, and The Galaxy Centre, and was near his camp when he saw a young man collapse on the street at the junction.

Jonathan says he was left stunned because he saw around 20 people just walk past, before running to help the man himself.

He said: “I was begging when this guy collapsed on the street and everybody walked by. He was lying on the street and nobody did anything!

“In the end I ran over to him and got the ambulance to come.

“He was going in and out of consciousness and I was trying to keep him awake. Tears were running down his face and he didn’t know what was going on.

“I don’t know how people can ignore a man lying in pain on the street?

“All these people with jobs were walking past, and it’s a beggar who takes the lead.”

Jonathan stayed with the man for around half an hour before an ambulance arrived, while he says a lady from the Post Office also came to help, establishing that the man was Polish and 31 years old.

Jonanthan says the incident happened around midday on Tuesday or Wednesday last week, and that it looked like the man was conscious when he was taken away in the ambulance.

Jonathan’s partner, Lydia, 50, who also witnessed the event, said: “Jonathan was sitting there and couldn’t believe it. I’m on crutches and use a wheelchair so I couldn’t move.

“There were cars in the road, yet people were still watching or just walking on.

“What Jonathan did was natural - that’s what people should do!

“It sickens me. Animals are better than that.”

Jonathan and Lydia had fallen on hard times and were living in a camper until recently when it fell into such disrepair that they had no choice but to move out onto the streets.

The couple have been desperately trying to find somewhere to live but say that every landlord they asked would not accept them with their Staffie dog, Biggy.

They also claim that they asked Luton Borough Council for help, but were told that they couldn’t be given accommodation if they had their pet.

Jonathan said: “He’s like my son, I love him so much. Lydia can’t have children, so he’s like our child. We’ve been together over ten years me and my partner, and we’ve had him nearly as long.

“He has a lovely demeanour, is very intelligent, and has a lot of love.”

One lady who has been helping the couple, said: “I’ve been visiting Jonathan since I first saw him begging on the pathway with Lydia and little Biggy. I felt sorry for him.

“My colleague and I bought them a pop up tent I organised a fundraising page which made £30. Biggy’s got an ear infection so I hope they can get that treated.

“I stop to chat to them and bring them food.

“There’s a local takeaway that lets Jonathan charge his mobile, but I do worry - they’re so vulnerable in the tent.

“Jonathan rang me once to say some lads in their 20s had been throwing stones at it.

“I’m hoping to organise another fundraising page to help them save for a deposit.”

A Luton Borough Council spokesman, said: “The council does not comment on individual cases. While we make every attempt to meet the requirements of those seeking accommodation it is becoming increasingly difficult to find landlords willing to accept pets. We will always give advice and assistance to support a person in securing their own accommodation and we operate Monday - Fridays 8.30am to 5.30pm and 10.30 to 5.30 on Wednesdays based at the Town Hall.”

The Luton Herald&Post contacted the East of England Ambulance Service and Bedfordshire Police for a response but did not receive a comment before going to press.