A DISABLED woman was gifted a new mobility scooter by friends – a day after children aged 10 and 11 stole and destroyed her own vehicle.
Video showed the gang of youngsters pushing the mobility scooter away while one sat in the seat to steer it.
Devastated Christine Davenport discovered shortly afterwards her £900 scooter had been damaged so badly it could not be economically repaired, leaving her housebound.
So the 54-year-old from Southend, Essex, was astonished and delighted the following day to be presented with a replacement.
Christine learned that three friends had chipped in £525 and then negotiated a hefty discount on a replacement.
It also emerged today that Christine has declined to press charges against the children responsible, preferring instead to met them with their parents “to get through to them”.
Christine, who is a carer for her husband, 71, despite being disabled herself, was visiting a friend in Southend on Tuesday when her scooter was stolen.
The scooter was found nearby with lights and other equipment smashed. Footage then emerged on social media of a group of children wheeling away the mobility scooter.
Christine and her husband, Kevin, relied on the scooter because he is a double leg amputee and Christine struggles to walk due to problems with her knees and back.
She posted an image of her new mobility scooter and captioned the post: “I cannot believe how wonderful and amazing my friends are.
“After all the upset of yesterday with the loss and destruction of my scooter they have clubbed together and bought me another scooter to replace it.
“I will never be able to thank them enough for everything.”
One of the three friends, who do not want to be named, today said: “We did it because we love her, and couldn’t bear to think of the emotional pain she was in following such a cruel and needless act of vandalism.
“We want people to really understand the impact this has had on her, and why she of all people didn’t deserve what happened.”
Speaking today, Christine said: I have such amazing friends, I don’t think I will ever get over their amazing generosity.”
Essex Police have managed to trace the children involved and Christine has been presented with the options to either press charges or meet with them and their parents.
Christine has opted for the meeting with the four kids and their parents, saying: “They are only 10 and 11 so I think it will make more of an impression on them.
“I think this will get through to them far more than a slap on the wrist.”