March 16 2014 Latest news:
By MARTIN GEORGE
Monday, September 10, 2012
A disabled man has been left immobile after thieves stole his specially adapted buggy from his driveway in broad daylight.
Mark Paterson said he had been housebound since his Qpod sports buggy, which he uses to go shopping in his village and explore the countryside with his disabled daughter, was taken from his Litcham home on Friday afternoon.
The 54 year old has had mobility problems since suffering a stroke when he was 47, but thanks to the buggy he was able to take his daughter Ellie, 14, who has cerebral palsy, on the beach during a family holiday in France last month.
He said: “It was the only thing I had to actually have fun outside and it was adapted for me so I could go along tracks and fields.
“We took it to France and I went thundering along the beach with it with my daughter screaming with laughter going through the spray.
“I’m disabled and so is she and for the two of us to be able to get out and have such fun like that was really special.”
He said the thieves would have realised very quickly that the buggy was used by someone with a disability because it had been specially adapted with controls lower down on the right hand side.
His wife, Sue, said the buggy was not insured because they were waiting for spare parts from Italy, which are due to arrive today, and the family could not afford the estimated £5-6,000 to replace it.
She said: “There’s no way we can afford to replace it so we just want to get it back.
“It’s awful... It was something that really changed his quality of life.”
She said police had already been in Litcham earlier in the day following the theft of a neighbour’s ride-on lawn mower.
She believed the buggy was taken from their home, in Butt Lane, between 4pm and 7.15pm on Friday, September 7.
She said Ellie had been very distressed by the theft, but police who visited their house at midnight on Friday had helped to reassure her.
She is now is planning to put posters around the village in case any residents have any information that could help police.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the police on 101.