A severely disabled Dundee boy has had his wheelchair stolen for the second time in less than a month.
Ben Dryden, 15, uses an electric wheelchair to get about, as he suffers from an extremely rare condition called Friedreich’s ataxia, which causes progressive damage to the nervous system.
Due to its size, the wheelchair is left in the close outside his home in Earn Crescent, Menzieshill.
Earlier this month, Ben’s mum Aileen, 52, condemned the “lowlife scum” who stole the wheelchair.
The theft initially left him housebound until Ninewells Hospital came up with a temporary replacement.
A few days later Ben’s original wheelchair was found after Aileen’s niece saw a man wheeling it from close to close in the Polepark area.
It was returned to Ben but the family were horrified when they woke up on Tuesday morning to find that the wheelchair had been taken once more. Aileen said: “I can’t believe this has happened. We’re disgusted.
“How anyone could do this to Ben for a second time is beyond me. I have no idea if it is the same person or not but, whoever it is, Ben has yet again been left without his only means of getting around, including to school.”
She said that after his wheelchair was stolen the first time, her partner Derek Moncrieff, 57, rigged up a system where the chair could be padlocked to a concrete block overnight.
However, because Aileen has a broken wrist, when Derek left for work at 6.45am he undid the padlock as he knew it was too tricky for her.
Aileen added: “When Ben and I came out of the house at 8.25am to get his taxi to school we couldn’t believe his wheelchair was missing yet again.
“I am so upset and Ben is devastated. To make matters worse, he slipped and has hurt his ankle so getting around is impossible for him.”
In the meantime, Ben has been given a manual wheelchair but his mum said he hates using it because it was very difficult for him to manoeuvre.
It has also emerged it was a council workman who was attempting to put in a permanent security fixture for Ben’s wheelchair who received an electric shock, before becoming engulfed in flames on Tuesday.
The police have confirmed they are investigating the theft.