Malmesbury gran hits out at yobs who stole mobility scooter – the day before her husband’s funeral

A GRAN has spoken out about after yobs stole and vandalised her mobility scooter the day before her beloved husband’s funeral. 

Sally Butler, 77, from Malmesbury, was left devastated after her buggy was stolen in the early hours of Wednesday – the day before her husband Roy’s funeral.

Posting on social media, disgusted residents said they had seen teenagers racing the £1,700 vehicle down Newnton Grove which is not far from Mrs Butler’s home in Gloucester Road.

The next morning, a dog-walker found the buggy in pieces along a path behind the Red Bull Inn – which is on the outskirts of town, one-and-a-half miles from Mrs Butler’s home.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard:

Mrs Butler’s was one of three buggies stolen that night.

She said she is absolutely ‘gutted’ – especially since this is not the first time she has been targeted.

Last month, both her and Roy’s scooters were taken.

Roy’s wasn’t replaced as he was ill but Mrs Butler’s was.

“It’s just unbelievable that it happened again,” she said. 

“I can’t walk very far so the scooter is very important to me to be able to go out and leave the house. 

“I feel absolutely gutted. 

“Malmesbury is such a lovely place, everyone is so nice 

“You just don’t expect it to happen to you. I’m glad my husband doesn’t know it happened again. 

“I just know he would want to tell them off. I wouldn’t be surprised if they do it again.”

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Sally and Roy Butler with their scooters in 2020 Sally and Roy Butler with their scooters in 2020

Mrs Butler uses the scooter to visit friends and loves popping into shops in the town centre.  

Her daughter Lisa had this message for the perpetrators.

“I wish they knew the harm it does and the ripple effects it has on victims,” she said. 

“It’s absolutely outrageous that it happened again. 

“My mum is so scared to go out now I don’t know if she’ll use the new scooter. 

“She doesn’t want to leave it in the town to pop in the shops even in the daytime, it’s just really sad. 

“My dad was absolutely heartbroken and was just so so upset when they were taken last month.

“My last conversation with my dad was in hospital and I promised him I would get him a new scooter so he could get back out again. 

“I’m just so glad he doesn’t know about mum’s scooter being taken again.” 

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Roy ButlerRoy Butler

The couple both bought scooters two years ago after Roy had to stop driving. 

Lisa described how ‘thrilled’ they were as it gave them independence.  

“They were so thrilled, it meant they could both go out again,” she said

The Butlers moved to Malmesbury three years from Nailsworth.

Roy died on September 10 aged 85.

His funeral was held at North Wiltshire Crematorium in Royal Wootton Bassett yesterday, Thursday.

Wiltshire police arrested two teenagers aged 13 and 15 on Wednesday evening on suspicion of theft, burglary and criminal damage in relation to the three buggy thefts. 

They confirmed that one of the scooters was Mrs Butler’s. 

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: The buggy was found in pieces along a path behind the Red Bull Inn - one-and-a-half miles from Mrs Butler's homeThe buggy was found in pieces along a path behind the Red Bull Inn – one-and-a-half miles from Mrs Butler’s home

Sergeant Jamie Ball of the Malmesbury neighbourhood policing team said: “It’s been a fast-paced investigation and we’ve made two quick arrests and recovered all three stolen scooters.” 

Wiltshire Councillor and deputy mayor Gavin Grant said the crimes were ‘disgusting’. 

He said: “I am pleased to see our local police taking rapid and decisive action after these disgusting crimes. 

“We know the overwhelming majority of those young people are as disgusted as we are by the actions of a tiny number who are out of control. 

“We also know  more needs to be done here to support our young people in these very challenging times, so they enjoy Malmesbury as they grow to become responsible adults.”

A GoFundMe page to replace Mrs Butler’s buggy raised £1,400 in just two days. 

“I can’t believe what people have done, it’s just wonderful, said Mrs Butler.

“Thank you to everyone that has helped and donated. 

“I’ve got a lot to be thankful for. 

“I hope I can go back out again soon.” 

Optimum Mobility in Sherston have lent Mrs Butler a new scooter until her new one arrives. 

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