Heartbreak as thieves steal computer lifeline

PUBLISHED: 15:05 24 January 2008 | UPDATED: 14:42 07 September 2010

A 70-year-old woman who has a debilitating muscle wasting disease, has made an impassioned plea to burglars to give back the valuables stolen from her home

Charlotte Newton

A 70-year-old woman who has a debilitating muscle wasting disease, has made an impassioned plea to burglars to give back the valuables stolen from her home.

Pamela Moffat MBE, suffers from muscular dystrophy which has left her wheelchair-bound and unable to use her arms. She broke her leg on Christmas Eve and spent Christmas Day - which was also her 70th birthday - in hospital.

While she was there, thieves raided her home in Shepherds Hill, Highgate, and stole items of great sentimental and practical value.

Fighting back tears, Ms Moffat explained: "I can't move my arms and I can't walk but I still have two jobs. I used my voice-activated computer to write things down for my jobs but the burglars stole it so I'm unable to write or work.

"It took years for the equipment to adjust to my voice. It's a real loss."

Ms Moffat works as a consultant for Transport for London, advising the organisation on how to adapt its services for people with disabilities. She also sits on the Commission for Social Care, Age Concern London and the Older People's Forum. She received an MBE for her dedication to improving transport services for the elderly and disabled.

The burglars struck between Friday January 4 and Saturday January 5. They entered Ms Moffat's home through a ground floor window and stole her computer, which has been installed with the specialist voice activated equipment.

The burglars also took family heirlooms including two silver cream jugs, a rose bowl and swimming trophies which her father won as a student. They used Ms Moffat's new wheelie suitcase to carry her belongings away.

Ms Moffat said: "Please, please, please return my memory stick, even if you keep the computer. All of the work we've done for TFL and Age Concern London & Haringey is on that memory stick.

"I'd also like the trophies and silver cream jugs back please, because they have real sentimental value. I know the thieves may not want to take my belongings to a police station, so why not call the Ham&High?"

The Georgian, silver cream jugs were a present for her parents on their wedding day. The trophies her father won for swimming bear the inscription JR Moffat.

Detective Constable Jane Reid from The Burglary Squad in Haringey said: "This is a terrible crime, where a vulnerable female has been deprived of essential computer equipment to assist her with her daily life. The computer equipment is modified and will stand out from any ordinary PC, and the antiques have been inscribed, so we urge anyone to come forward if they have any information

Anyone with information is asked to contact DC Reid on 020-8345 0887.

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