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Charity worker has mobility scooter destroyed by vandals

PUBLISHED: 12:00 04 October 2012

Mai O Connell with her vandalised scooter

Mai O Connell with her vandalised scooter

Archant

Heartless vandals left a woman housebound after breaking into her shed and destroying her mobility scooter on Friday (September 28).

Mai O’Connell, of Cameron House, St John’s Wood, is reliant on her scooter to get around because of serious osteo-arthritis.

She was left heartbroken when would-be thieves, unable to start the vehicle after stealing it from her shed, smashed it beyond repair and left it on her drive.

The 78-year-old, who chairs Neighbourcare, a charity which arranges volunteers to befriend housebound elderly or sick people, says she cannot function without it.

She said: “It’s literally like someone taking your legs away.

“Just walking to the post office at the bottom of the road without it takes me more than half an hour, and I can’t use my crutches for much longer than that.

“I just can’t think why anyone would want to do this to me.”

She was alerted to the break-in by a neighbour on Saturday morning, and was initially relieved to see the scooter sitting outside the shed.

But when she got to it, she realised the wheels had been kicked in and all the electrics had been ripped out.

She said: “When I saw what they had done I started shaking.

“It’s just yobs who do this kind of thing, they don’t think. I’d like to say to them stop and think what you are doing, and who you are doing it to.”

Mrs O’Connell’s sons stepped in when they realised what had happened, and brought her a new scooter the next day for £800.

She said: “I have a great family. I wouldn’t have been able to afford it if they hadn’t helped me out.”

A police spokesman said: “LEAVE 50 WORDS FOR POLICE COMMENT”

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