‘Scum’ thieves trash pensioner’s mobility scooter

Philip Mitchell, 76, outside his home in Hendon, Sunderland, from where his motability scooter was stolen.

Philip Mitchell, 76, outside his home in Hendon, Sunderland, from where his motability scooter was stolen.

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A DISABLED pensioner has been left a prisoner in his own home after low-life thieves stole and trashed his mobility scooter.

Philip Mitchell, 76, is today heartbroken after the scooter he relies on for his independence was snatched from outside his Hendon home.

Alzheimer’s sufferer Mr Mitchell, also known as Taffy, has been unable to leave his home since the theft as he cannot walk unaided.

His daughter Lindsay Crinson, 46, said: “He was flabbergasted when he found out but I don’t really think it hit him until yesterday when I saw him just sitting there with his head in his hands saying he’s been made a prisoner in his own home.

“He looked totally devastated and it was absolutely heart-breaking to see him like that.”

The theft, which happened overnight on Saturday, was reported to police who later recovered the scooter that the granddad-of-seven’s family bought him eight months ago. But it had been completely trashed.

The family now face having to try and find the cash to buy a new scooter, with the cheapest reconditioned one costing £500.

“I’m absolutely gutted,” Lindsay, who is one of Mr Mitchell’s carers, said. “It’s devastating to see your own dad like that.

“To think that someone can actually go and do that is sick and just horrible. They must have known it was needed for someone to get around.

“They must be the scum of the earth to do that, it doesn’t even bare thinking about.”

The mobility scooter provided Mr Mitchell, a former oil rig worker, with a lifeline to get out of his house and he used it to take his daily trip to the nearby bookies to socialise.

In his house he has a walking frame to help him get about but is unable to get around outside without the aid of the scooter.

Sergeant Lee Butler, who covers the area, said: “This really is a senseless crime.

“The scooter belonged to someone who relies on it to be able to get around and without it his mobility is extremely limited.

“It has left him virtually housebound and extremely distressed.

“Despite it being found it is completely unusable in its current condition.”

* A 28-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of theft. He has been released on police bail pending further inquiries.