Burglars left severely disabled six-year-old boy Oliver Fahey, of Carlton, Barnsley, stranded after they stole the family’s mobility car, a black Nissan Qashqai, from outside his home in Peterfood Way on Thursday morning.
The car has a specially-designed rear seat and adapted wheelchair for Oliver, who has Angelman Syndrome, and is relied on to take him to regular medical appointments.
South Yorkshire Police said Oliver has been left stranded since the family’s mobility car was stolen yesterday along with a specially-designed rear seat and his specially-adapted wheelchair.
His parents, Jonathon and Tracey Fahey, said they needed the black Nissan Qashqai to take him to much-loved sessions at Barnsley’s Greenacre School and regular medical appointments at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
A force spokesman said Mr Fahey found the car was missing from outside the family home in Peterfoot Way at about 6.30am yesterday. It was later found burned out in the New Crofton area of Wakefield.
He said two iPads were also taken, one of which contained irreplaceable family photographs and both had apps to help with Oliver’s development.
Burglars took the car keys when they broke into the house and Mr Fahey believes the intruders must have realised from the equipment in the home that a disabled child lived there.
“This has made me sick to the stomach,” said Mr Fahey. “I’m totally disgusted by what’s happened. I only buried my father on Tuesday so it’s been a hard enough week without this.
“I can’t believe the callous manner in what they did. It’s left me speechless. My wife has been very tearful and gets up every time she hears a noise, so this has left her on edge.
“I could understand if they’d stolen the car and stripped it of parts, but just to take it and burn it out is unbelievable.”
Mr Fahey said the only comfort for the family is that Oliver’s condition means he has been totally oblivious to the break-in.
He said the car had contained lots of Oliver’s toys as well as the special seat, worth several thousand pounds provided by the the charity, New Life. The seat swung outwards and could be pulled out to enable Oliver easy access to and from the vehicle.
“Unfortunately Oliver had visited the GP on Wednesday evening and when we returned it was raining, so I’d left his wheelchair in the boot and thought I’d get it out the next morning,” he added.
“Oliver really enjoys school and everyone is brilliant with him. Thankfully he’s not missed any as an assistant took him yesterday and now we have a hire car and another chair from wheelchair services.”
Inspector Gary Askew said: “This is a heartbreaking example of how a criminal act can have a resounding impact on the victims’ day-to-day lives.”