A DISABLED teenager has hit out at heartless thieves who stole her wheelchair.
Leanne Garner-Jones, 18, now faces the prospect of being unable to shop for presents or visit friends and relatives over the festive period because of the theft.
Leanne has cerebral palsy and is unable to walk more than a couple of yards unaided.
She told The Gazette: “It’s just sick what they’ve done, it’s like them taking my legs away really.
“They take for granted walking and they’ve just taken my independence - they’ve taken my life.
“I was devastated because I can’t get anywhere without it.
“I can only walk short distances and I need to hold on to things to walk, so going out without it is impossible.
“It’s just really upsetting and I’m sat here nearly crying, I don’t know what to do.”
The theft took place on Saturday some time between 8pm and 8.30pm from outside the front of her house in Tyne Avenue, Blackpool, close to Stanley Park.
She had left the chair there for the short time because she had planned to go out to do some shopping that evening, but by the time she went to retrieve it, it had disappeared.
Leanne says she now faces a miserable Christmas as a result and will be stuck in the house she shares with her uncle’s girlfriend Claire Southern, 33.
She added: “I can’t go out, I’m practically housebound.
“I’ll be in the house mostly, that’s all I can do.
“People will have to visit me but some of them can’t because they don’t drive, and I can’t go and see my nan because I can’t get there.
“It’s going to be really difficult over Christmas.”
Her uncle Thomas Garner-Jones, 46, told of his anger at the thieves.
Mr Garner-Jones, of Horsebridge Road, Grange Park, said: “I’d like to get hold of them.
“We can’t leave the house now and leave her alone, we’ve got to change our plans.
“I just feel so sorry for her because it’s devastating and she can’t go out and visit her family and friends.”
Lancashire Police says it is investigating the incident.
A spokesman for the force added: “The aggrieved left the wheelchair outside his home address and somebody has taken it.
“It has been reported to us.
“There is no CCTV unfortunately but we are looking at it.”