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Mother's horror as disabled son’s ‘lifeline’ destroyed by thugs

BY DONNA DEENEY

Published 15/10/2015

The burnt out shell of the car belonging to Emma Logue whose depends on it to take her son Fionn, who has cerebral palsy, to hospital. PIcture: Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 14.10.15
The burnt out shell of the car belonging to Emma Logue whose depends on it to take her son Fionn, who has cerebral palsy, to hospital. PIcture: Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 14.10.15

The mother of a two-year-old boy with cerebral palsy has been robbed of a lifeline after heartless thugs stole her car before burning it to a shell.

The noise of a car being ‘rally driven’ around the streets of Carnhill area of Londonderry woke Emma Logue in the early hours of Tuesday.

As she lay listening to the racket of wheels screeching and an engine being revved, little did she realise it was her car, the one she needed so badly to take her son Fionn to his hospital appointments, that the joyriders were destroying.

The full horror only unfolded when Emma’s partner walked out  of the front door of their home to go to an early morning gym session and realised their Vauxhall Astra wasn’t there.

Speaking to the North West Telegraph, Emma said that when she looked into the burned-out remnants of her car, she felt like weeping.

She added: “That car meant so much to us, because Fionn has so many appointments to get to between hospitals, physiotherapy and the occupational therapist, that not having it will be a huge loss to us.

“I felt sick when my partner Gary told me it was gone and the minute he said it I realised that I had actually heard it being driven around the streets, because the noise woke me up.

“I said to Gary, ‘the joyriders are out tonight’, little realising that it was my car they were in.

“We rang the police and they were able to tell us right away that our car was in a green near Knockalla Park, burned out.

“We went up to see and it was just gut-wrenching looking at it burned out and what made it worse was Fionn’s car seat was in the back and his pram was in the boot, so both of those have been destroyed too.

The burnt out shell of the car belonging to Emma Logue whose depends on it to take her son Fionn , who has cerebral palsy, to his hospital. The car was stolen by joyriders and abandoned and destroyed at Knockalla Park in the Galliagh area of Derry. PIcture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 14.10.15
The burnt out shell of the car belonging to Emma Logue whose depends on it to take her son Fionn , who has cerebral palsy, to his hospital. The car was stolen by joyriders and abandoned and destroyed at Knockalla Park in the Galliagh area of Derry. PIcture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 14.10.15

“People have since told me that they saw three boys in the car aged around 16 and you have to wonder how they could steal and wreck anyone’s car, especially one that had a child’s seat in the back.

“I cannot understand how these boys’ parents can let their sons roam the streets and not wonder where they are or what they are doing; this is going on all the time around here, it’s just getting out of hand.”

While the family have been badly affected by the loss and destruction of their car, the incident has also shown them the better side of people.

Emma continued: “I have been overwhelmed by how good people have been since Tuesday. People came to us and asked if there was anything they could do for us, and the local taxi firm has even offered to take us free of charge to any appointments Fionn has.

“We have been touched by the goodness of people, which is the complete opposite to the boys who did this to us and I wouldn’t want anyone else to experience this, so I wanted to warn others to be on their guard, because our car wasn’t the only one taken this week.”

Police at Strand Road in Derry are appealing for information about the theft and destruction of the car.

Constable Miller, the investigating officer, said: “A grey Vauxhall Astra was stolen from outside a house at Carnhill some time between 10.30pm on Monday, October 12 and Tuesday, October 13 at 06.15 hours.

“It was found burned out on the grassy area at Galliagh Park.

“We are linking this to reports of a car rallying around the Glendale area and being driven along a cycle path and to suspicious activity by four youths at Carnhill at about 2.30am on Tuesday.”

He appealed for help, adding: “We would ask anyone with information about the incident to get in touch with us on the 101 non-emergency number.”

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