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Vandal with a grudge targets East End kids' charity boutique in Roman Road

PUBLISHED: 13:36 19 November 2012 | UPDATED: 13:41 19 November 2012

A charity set up to help kids in London's deprived East End keep out of trouble has had to call in police after being targeted by someone with a grudge.

Officers have been called twice to Mimi’s boutique run by the ‘Tribute 2 a Legend’ Trust in the Roman Road after locks to the premises were jammed, preventing volunteers opening up for Saturday’s market day or the previous Wednesday.

The charity, which has lost £500 trade in three days, is now having to spend thousands of pounds on security locks and putting in CCTV.

Its founder, photographer Joe Leslie, believes there is a personal grudge against him.

“I don’t understand why they’re attacking a charity property if they have a grievance against me,” he told the Advertiser.

“All I’m trying to do is give something back to the community where I was brought up.

“Our charity was set up to keep kids off the street and out of trouble, to opening up the world of theatre and performing arts to them.”

The first incident was last Tuesday when a volunteer found the lock jammed when she arrived—a locksmith said it had been tampered with.

The second incident was discovered on Saturday when charity trustee Jill Walker also couldn’t get in.

She said: “We’ve lost money by calling out locksmiths as well as trade on market days.

“What saddens me is the real victims are children we’re trying to help. I can’t get my head around anyone doing such a thing.”

Police confirmed they have been called twice to the premises in three days.

The trust is setting up a ‘Heroes of Working Class’ drama school in the New Year with a debut performance at the Theatre Royal in Stratford.

It’s latest fundraising is next Saturday when a David Beckham ‘lookalike’ serves behind the counter at Mimi’s boutique at 521 Roman Rd, Bow, from 12 noon.

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