Wigan dad slams heartless thieves who stole disabled wife's birthday presents

Darren and Samantha WilkinsonDarren and Samantha Wilkinson
Darren and Samantha Wilkinson
A Wigan dad has slammed heartless thieves who broke into the family home and stole his disabled wife's birthday presents while they were sleeping.

Darren Wilkinson and his wife Samantha, who has been left wheelchair-bound after a stroke just eight weeks ago, woke up at their Scholes home yesterday morning to find that someone had taken a raft of valuables from downstairs.

Samantha, who turned 38 on the same day, discovered that her birthday cards had been rifled through for cash and even stacked up neatly on the side.

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The couple, who also have a young disabled son, said that they have been left “shaken up” by the fact that someone was in their home while they lay in bed.

“I wonder if they saw that Samantha is in a wheelchair and knew they wouldn’t be chased,” said Darren.

“She doesn’t rush down the stairs, she has a stair lift. She’s got an electric wheelchair charging at the bottom of the stairs.

“I’m her full time carer and I care for our son Billy who is autistic.”

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The family’s next oldest son, Kieran, 19, had gone out to work at 6.30am, around 45 minutes before the couple were disturbed by their dog barking.

“We were getting up then anyway but the dog was barking a lot,” added Darren. “We think that they probably would have come upstairs for the dog deterred them.

“We are feeling really shaken up by it. Billy was hiding under the quilt afterwards before he had to go to school.

“It was a scary ordeal for us. I’m just glad no one was harmed. If someone had come upstairs it could have ended very differently.”

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As well as stealing a bar of chocolate from Samantha’s present pile, the offender made off with two laptops and a tablet which she uses to communicate with people while she is laid up.

“The laptop is important to my wife,” added Darren. “It’s her lifeline. It’s what she uses to communicate with people.

“I first became her carer nine years ago. She had a stroke giving birth and a major stroke recently which has left her in a wheelchair.

“We are at the unlucky end of the stick really so this is just a bigger knife being put into us.

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“We struggle on a daily basis with my wife’s disabilities and my son’s mental health as well. For this to happen has just added insult to injury.”

Although Darren says his family has accepted they may never get the items back, he is appealing for anyone who sees any white and blue Windows HP laptops or a white tablet for sale to contact the police.

Forensics have already attended the property and taken fingerprints from one of Samantha’s birthday cards.

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