Disabled man burgled twice

WHEELCHAIR-bound Stephen Lawrence is heartbroken today after being targeted by ruthless raiders just hours after leaving hospital.The 48-year-old, who suffers from a crippling muscle disease, was burgled as he lay asleep in his specially-adapted council bungalow, in Whitton Church Lane, Ipswich.

WHEELCHAIR-bound Stephen Lawrence is heartbroken today after being targeted by ruthless raiders just hours after leaving hospital.

The 48-year-old, who suffers from a crippling muscle disease, was burgled as he lay asleep in his specially-adapted council bungalow, in Whitton Church Lane, Ipswich.

Many of his most prized possessions were taken in the raid, including a DVD player, video recorder, speakers and a computer tower.

His 68-year-old mother, Josie, of Beechcroft Road, Ipswich, said the theft of the items has left his life empty.


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She added: "They must have known it's a disabled person's house because it has got hand rails up the front drive, ramps and an intercom.

"We don't want him back in Whitton Church Lane. It's a horrible area and he will be staying with me for the foreseeable future."

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The incident, between midnight and 7.45am on Friday , is the second time in four months Stephen has been burgled.

On the previous evening, at 5.45pm, he had returned home from a seven-week spell in hospital with a leg infection.

"I watched a lot of DVDs and videos and I used to play on my computer quite a lot as well but there's not a lot I can do now," he said.

"I was totally shocked when I found out. The first thing I did was to ring my mum and tell her I'd been done again."

The timing of the burglary has proved particularly hard to deal with for Ataxia-sufferer Stephen, coming only one month after the death of his father, Peter. He died after a two-year battle with cancer at the age of 71.

Josie said: "I can't get any grieving out of him. Every time I mention his dad he just wells up. It's hard for me but it's extra hard for Stephen."

At one point, Josie's husband and son were in Ipswich Hospital at the same time, leaving her to frantically dashing from one bed to another.

"It's been very hard and I'm not over it yet," she said.

In February, a collection of DVDs and a framed replica John Wayne gun, worth around £300, were among the items stolen when Stephen was staying with his parents.

Anyone with any information about the incident is asked to call Suffolk Police on 01473 613500 or Crime Stoppers on 0800 555111.

FASTfacts Ataxia

Ataxia means "no co-ordination".

It refers to a number of neurological disorders in the parts of the nervous system that control balance and co-ordination.

In cases of Antaxia, these parts wear out prematurely.

Some kinds of Antaxia are genetic and others arise randomly. Stephen's condition is genetic.

Source: www.ataxia.org.uk

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