Wales

Cardiff girl's stolen wheelchair found damaged

Olivia Newing
Image caption Olivia was visiting her grandmother when the wheelchair was taken

The mother of a 10-year-old disabled girl who had her wheelchair stolen says it has been recovered but is badly damaged.

Olivia Newing, of Canton, Cardiff, had her wheelchair taken while she was visiting her grandmother on Sunday.

It has since been found but her mother, Carmel Boston, said parts were missing and a wheel had been damaged.

Police said a 13-year-old boy had been arrested on suspicion of theft.

The wheelchair was taken on Sunday afternoon from outside Olivia's grandmother's house in the Ely area of Cardiff.

Ms Boston said it had since been found but was currently unusable because of the damage.

"The foot plates have been taken off, the arm rests have gone and they have ripped the seat," she said.

"I think they've done something to the wheel because it's bent and not opening fully.

"It's unusable so someone is coming on Friday to have a look at it and see if it can be repaired."

Olivia, who has cerebral palsy, was left devastated because she thought she would have to miss her dance class.

"She's supposed to be going to dance tonight [Tuesday] and I'm still going to take her," said Ms Boston.

"She will try to sit on a normal chair to watch rather than take part.

"She's been going there since it opened a year ago and she absolutely loves it."

In an emergency

Olivia, who attends Trelai Primary School in Ely, has a frame which she can use to get around but it is only suitable for short distances.

Ms Boston said she had been told that Olivia could not have another wheelchair because she had one at school.

"She uses that one at her desk for her work at school and if that one broke at home, she would be stuck at school," she said.

"We've got a spare one from when she was two or three [years old] which can be used in an emergency but it's a bit of a squeeze.

"The people of Ely have been fantastic. They've been willing to donate money to buy her a new wheelchair."