Disabled pensioner targeted by yobs

Edwin Alan Kitching
Edwin Alan Kitching

A SEVERELY disabled pensioner is living in fear of his life, besieged in his Wigan home by yobs.

Alan Kitching, 72, who has cerebral palsy and has trouble communicating, has been plunged into despair after a shameful spate of attacks on his Kitt Green bungalow. Over recent months, youths have broken into his home four times, stolen money from him, damaged a security light, thrown eggs at his windows and have taunted him with cruel jibes. The police themselves admit he has suffered “a horrendous ordeal”.

Wigan and Leigh Housing officers have offered Mr Kitching new accommodation elsewhere, but he had refused, as he does not want to move away from his friends.

Although the police have been called and have investigated the incidents, they say there is nothing else they can do.

But his lifelong friend, Jean Metcalfe, 72, said what would really give him peace of mind would be for his tormentors to be caught and punished.

Speaking on Mr Kitching’s behalf, she said: “Alan is so badly disabled, he needs a friend.

“He can’t really speak – he can get the odd word out, but with difficulty. Most people can’t understand him and he has trouble walking, so people think he is drunk.

“This torment has been going on for weeks on end.

“It started off when he was robbed.

“He was counting money on his chair and he opened his back door and the yobs shoved him down and stole around £200. They must have seen him come out of the post office.

“He has had four break-ins altogether.

“Yobs have also been banging on his door at night, damaged security lights which ward councillors Paul and Jeanette Prescott had helped to install, and thrown eggs at his window.

“The council has offered him two bungalows to live in, but he does not want to move as he would not know anybody and would be a stranger.

“People know him where he lives and help him. No one would understand what his life entails if he moved.”

Insp Phil James from the Pemberton Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “This gentleman has suffered a horrendous ordeal.

“My officers have spent some considerable time with him offering support and comfort and taking measures to decrease the chances of him becoming a victim again.

“I am saddened that there are heartless criminals that would target someone like him with severe disabilities and we will be working hard to bring those responsible to justice.

“Patrols have been stepped up in the area and we have been working closely with Wigan and Leigh Housing and the local authority to make things better for the victim.

“To improve security, extra lighting has been installed, the bushes have been trimmed back and alleygates will soon be installed at the rear of the victim’s home.

“If you know who is responsible or would like to report antisocial behaviour or crime, please dial 101. In an emergency, please call 999.”