Tel: 01636 555033
We've Got Newark and Sherwood Covered


Terminally ill Newark man given mobility scooter after theft

Posted onPosted on 2nd Feb

A kind-hearted family who recently lost their grandfather to cancer has provided a lifeline for a terminally ill Newark man who had his mobility scooter stolen by thieves.

Rob Toal and his brother, James, decided to get in touch with Nottinghamshire Police after reading about the plight of 70-year-old Derek Trigg, whose scooter was stolen by thieves from outside his home on Fenton Close, Newark. Neighbours spotted the vehicle being loaded into a red hatchback car, which then driving off.

The pensioner, who is himself dying of cancer, spoke out in a bid to try to get his own scooter returned. Without it he has been housebound and unable to get to the shops.

The former Merchant Navy seaman had bought the black and grey Ambassador model new in 2014 when his long period of ill health began to affect his legs and spine. Having it gave him his independence, which was doubly important given his caring role for his dying wife.

Mr Toal, of Stapleford, and his family read the details of the theft on Nottinghamshire Police’s Facebook page and jumped straight into action as they had a scooter left by their grandfather.

Mr Trigg is over the moon with the offer and is now able to get out and about once again.

He said: “It feels really good to be able to get out and about again and I can’t thank officers, Rob, James and their family enough for providing me with this scooter, which is a lifeline really.

“It was completely gutting to lose my old one and to have my independence taken away. Every day I’d be able to go to the shops, visit people and just go for a ride and a change of scenery, and without the scooter I was pretty much unable to leave the house.

“Having the scooter completely changed my life. When my wife, Tina, was alive, we used to go out for walks and having a scooter opened up all these opportunities for us again. She was completely blind towards the end of her life but I have fond memories her holding onto the side of the buggy and plodding along beside me.

“She sadly passed away in January last year, but the scooter continued to enable me to do things and helped provide some comfort.

“It’s been very frustrating not really being able to leave my house, especially on the days where we’ve had some better weather. It’s really important to get out when I can, and these heartless thieves took away the one enjoyment I’ve been able to have during the pandemic.

“I feel so humbled that people have rallied to help after this. It’s incredibly comforting to know there are good people around, like Rob, and also the officers investigating, who have been such a reassurance that crimes such as these are taken seriously.

Mr Toal added: “The more we read the information and the appeal, the more we felt that we just had to get in touch and see if we could help.

“Our grandad passed away in October after also battling cancer. We are in the process of sorting out his estate and we had the scooter that he had been using.

“He was also called Derek and he had served in the Royal Air Force, so when I saw the post on Nottinghamshire Police’s Facebook page, I commented, tagged members of my family and also sent a direct message. His story really struck a chord for us.

“It was a few days later when I heard back asking if our details could be passed on to the officer involved, and of course we were delighted and said yes.

“Derek himself called us about the scooter and it’s been fantastic having the opportunity to talk him and to get to know him a little bit. It’s quite surreal and almost a full circle moment that he now has our grandad’s scooter, given the similarities between them. I definitely think they would have gotten along, particularly as both were servicemen.

“He’s also been able to get a bit of independence back as I know that, in those couple of weeks between his own scooter being stolen and ours getting to him, he wasn’t really able to go anywhere or make his usual trip to the shops. It’s great to hear how happy he is with the scooter and we hope it continues to serve him well.”

Derek, who lives alone, was first alerted to the theft by someone living nearby who noticed his scooter wasn’t where it should be.

Officers from the Newark Neighbourhood team have been investigating the incident. They continue to carry out enquiries and appeal for information from anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area around the time the scooter was stolen, which was at 11.40pm on Monday, 25th January.

Inspector Heather Sutton, District Commander for Newark and Sherwood, said: “It’s fantastic that the appeal has clearly had an impact on people and that, even though our search for his scooter continues, he has had a number of offers for replacements and now has one, which will allow him to get out and fully enjoy each day as much as he can again.

“I want to thank the public for coming together and making these offers to help Derek, and in particular to Rob, James and their family who have donated his new scooter. I know they were much appreciated and this had ultimately meant that Derek can have his independence once again.

“This was such a cruel and heartless crime to commit against an elderly, vulnerable man and take away his lifeline and something he’s able to enjoy as he battles a terminal illness. We will continue to carry out enquiries.”

Anyone with information is urged to call 101, quoting incident 699 of 25 January 2021. Alternatively, people can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.