A TOURIST who left a wallet containing more than £350 in cash on a car park ticketmachine has praised a young man for handing it in.

Canadian Michael Wood, 74, put the wallet on top of the machine in the multi-storey car park at the Victoria Shopping Centre, in Southend, on Wednesday while he paid for his parking ticket.

It wasn’t until he got home to his brother Lewis’s house in Bridgwater Drive, Westcliff, more than an hour later, that he realised he had left it there.

Mr Wood, who is due to return home to Toronto with his wife Maureen, 73, on Sunday, rushed back to the car park in the vain hope of finding the wallet, which also contained bank cards and his health insurance card.

He said: “I never thought I would find it, but I rushed back to the car park and security staff said a young man had handed it in.

“Everything was still in it.

Apparently, the lad just handed it over without leaving a name, but I would really like to find him to say thank you.

“I was born and bred in Southend before moving to Canada in 1962. I try to come over every year.

“Southend has changed a lot over the years. Lovely rose gardens have been turned into parking lots and people have Apshalted over their pretty gardens to park their cars. But this just shows there is still honour in this town.”

Mr Wood said the man was in his early twenties. He added: “Young people get criticised a lot these days, but this shows there are good young people about. I would really love to thank him personally.

“If we had to travel home without the wallet it would have caused all sorts of problems, so I am very grateful. I can’t wait to buy a lottery ticket because I think I must be on a winning streak.”

Dennis Baldry, spokesman for the Victoria Shopping Centre, said: “Everyone assumes if people find a wallet or purse they will keep it, butmore often than not they hand them in.

“This was all the more noteworthy as the young man handed it in anonymously and didn’t want to leave his details. It is nice to think there are people out there who are community-spirited enough to hand in lost items.”