Matthew Brinton, a beggar in England’s Cornwall county, has earned the wrath of locals after he was spotted getting into an Audi TT in a parking lot near Bank Street. Brinton is a familiar face in the area, having begged there for several years. Footage of him getting into the $70,000 luxury car was uploaded on Facebook, and Brinton has been receiving death threats ever since.
The 35-year-old beggar, who lives with a friend, claims to have received the car as inheritance from his grandmother. He also says that the Audi has since been stolen, and he’s now fearing for his life. “I have not seen any of the social media posts because I do not have access to the internet but according to the police I’ve had lots of death threats,” he said. “People are assuming too much and I’m getting a lot of abuse. This has been going on for years.”
The video, which was posted on Facebook on February 18, has indeed received hundreds of abusive comments from irate locals who have actually seen Brinton in person and given him money. “I’m particularly disgusted as he conned £40 from an elderly gentleman I know to ‘pay for a B&B for the night’, then went home!” one person commented. “The poor elderly gent was distraught that his kindness had been abused in such a way.”
“I brought him hot food and a hot drink was very rude and ungrateful in front of my sons who were 8 and 12 at the time,” another person wrote. “I told them most homeless people were grateful and not like him.
A few people are taking Brinton’s side though, like this one local who wrote: “Leave the man alone ,the dog, Hazel, is well cared for. Vent anger towards what is really making you angry – (it’s) awful bullying a vulnerable man.”
“Why judge people you don’t have to?” another questioned. “He is an ok bloke just lost in life.”
The local police don’t believe that Brinton is a con either. They told the media that he just received a lot of cash from a long lost relative, and quickly blew all the money away. And they’ve confirmed that he isn’t in possession of the car or any money as of now. “He had a few threats, with people making stupid comments on social media,” said inspector Dave Meredith, Newquay’s top police officer. “We’ve told him: ‘You need to be careful because of the video on Facebook; there’s lots of ill-feeling and animosity because of it.’”
“It’s a sad case, really,” the inspector added. “I’ve known him from years but he doesn’t help himself.”