Disabled mother-of-two from Norwich speaks out after vandals destroy her wheelchair

Layla and Alex Stabler-Hall, with nine-month-old Raphael, holding parts of Layla's smashed up wheelc

Layla and Alex Stabler-Hall, with nine-month-old Raphael, holding parts of Layla's smashed up wheelchair they salvaged from the car park where they accidentally left it. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A disabled mother-of-two says she has lost her independence after vandals destroyed her only wheelchair.

Layla Stabler-Hall, 23, was devastated to hear that her £350 chair had been pulled apart at Longwater Retail Park, Costessey, on Saturday.

It had been left there overnight when her 26-year-old husband Alex forgot to pack it away in the couple's car.

But on their return the following morning, having realised it was missing, they only found a few pieces remaining.

Mrs Stabler-Hall, who suffers with a condition affecting her joints, said: 'I was devastated when I found out it had been broken. It is like losing your legs because you lose your independence and freedom.

'I think the people who did this don't have any regard for anyone. They must have just tied it to car and dragged it along.'

The pair, who purchased the wheelchair using money from their wedding last year, said they did not have enough to buy a new one.

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Its lightweight frame allowed Mrs Stabler-Hall, who lives on Barrack Street, Norwich, to push herself around while out on her own.

A crowdfunding campaign launched on Sunday has since covered the cost of her new chair, with one person donating £300 to purchase a new one.

Mrs Stabler-Hall, who has just completed studying psychology at City College Norwich, said: 'I was so happy that someone would do that for us. I never expected to raise anywhere near that amount. We are so grateful.'

Her husband is now appealing for anyone who saw what happened to the chair to get in touch with Norfolk Police. He said he had forgotten to put away her wheelchair, after becoming distracted while dealing with their two young children.

'I was almost in tears when I got told it had been smashed,' he added.

'Layla was a wreck because that is her whole life, and you can't really put it into words what it means to her.

'I don't understand why anyone would come across a wheelchair and think 'that will be fun to break'.'

Norfolk Police said they were due to speak with the couple yesterday evening to take a full statement from them.

Have you been the victim of crime? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684

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