Vandals prevent Australian trip for Sidmouth festival goer

PUBLISHED: 15:38 27 August 2009 | UPDATED: 10:06 18 June 2010

A MINDLESS act of vandalism on the last night of Sidmouth FolkWeek, set off a chain of events that will now prevent a woman from visiting her son in Australia.

A MINDLESS act of vandalism on the last night of Sidmouth FolkWeek, set off a chain of events that will now prevent a woman from visiting her son in Australia.

Now, the 67-year-old visitor, who has enjoyed folk festivals in Sidmouth since 1992, wants witnesses who saw youths overturn her silver and orange Fiat Seicento early Saturday morning to come forward.

Patricia, from Wincanton, said: "I am a 67-year-old pensioner who walks with a stick and relies on a car for mobility, so its loss has cost me a great deal."

She said she parked her low mileage, seven-year-old car, which she bought two years ago, at The Ham car park on Friday so she could easily transfer her luggage to it from her seafront hotel.

She had put some in the car on Friday evening, but on Saturday, when she returned with the rest, her car had gone.

Police had removed it to a Cullompton recovery garage after it was found on its side in the car park.

"I had to rustle up my daughter, who lives in Yeovil, to fetch me to collect my possessions from my car, but I could only take what was in the boot because the police needed to exam it for fingerprints," said Patricia.

Having had the car written off by her insurance company, she now faces having to find money to help purchase another car as she cannot get to work by public transport.

This means a trip to Australia to see her son cannot go ahead this year.

She said: "I have to delay my next visit for several months while I save up the money again. I went back to work after retirement to be able to visit him.

"The police told me the incident, which happened between 1.20am and 1.30am, was witnessed, but two days ago told me there was insufficient evidence to proceed.

"I was hoping they would be prosecuted. If they get away with it once they may do it again."

To the vandals she said: "Your few minutes of vandalism may have seemed like fun to you but to me it was anything but."

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call police on 08452 777 444, quoting KS/09/465.


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