Officers arrange sponsored walk for Ellesmere Port family targeted by vandals

Reporter:

David Triggs

Two police community support officers are doing a sponsored walk to raise money for a vulnerable Ellesmere Port family targeted by 'sickening' vandals.

PCSOs Sharon Williams and Matt Fullagar will embark on The Walk of Courage, which will start at Asda in Grange Road on Saturday, September 2 and end at Chester Zoo.

The event is in aid of the Burke family, who have been on the receiving end of what police describe as an 'incomprehensible and sickening vendetta'.

Natasha Burke, 25, who is terminally ill, has no idea why she, husband James and three-year-old disabled son Alfie are being singled out.

Since early May, the family’s Rugby Road home and property has been repeatedly damaged, with the severity increasing over time. There is a chance their mobility car, which is vital to their needs, may be taken away from them because of repeated attacks on the vehicle and also a replacement rental car.

The Burke family will join both PCSOs and other supporters outside Asda at 9am on the day of the walk.

PCSO Williams said: “All funds will go to the family, who have been subjected to continued harassment and vandalism.

“Ellesmere Port Local Policing Unit has been working with the family and residents to find those responsible, but in the meantime we want to help them protect their property, including their mobility car, by raising enough money to install a gate.

“I have been supporting the family through their ordeal and understand how vital their mobility car is. It has been adapted for the family’s needs and is their lifeline. Sadly, they risk losing their vehicle because of the constant damage being caused by vandals.”

Cheshire Police highlighted the Burke family's plight in July.

They said the incidents appear to be unprovoked and are a real blow to the family as mum Natasha is not only terminally ill, but also registered blind and disabled.

They need to travel to hospitals in Oswestry, Manchester, Liverpool and Clatterbridge, relying heavily on their mobility car. Alfie is also disabled and has to go to hospital on a monthly basis.

Sgt Martin Campbell said: “It beggars belief that someone would target such a vulnerable family who are trying to get on with their lives as best they can despite the devastating challenges life is throwing at them. If you know something that could help us with our investigation, please contact police and tell them what you know so that we can find those responsible for this incomprehensible and sickening vendetta.”

Natasha’s husband James added: “Both my wife and son have to go to hospital in Manchester once a month and my wife has to go to Oswestry and Clatterbridge. We need the car, Manchester is 40 miles away, we’ll struggle if we have it taken off us.

“It’s costing us money because we have to claim for the damage, which means paying the excess. It’s a big hit on us.”

Anyone with information should contact Cheshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 1086 of 13 July. Alternatively information can be given anonymously by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

If you would like to sponsor the officers, the sponsorship form is at the front desk of Ellesmere Port police station. You can also help raise money by taking part in the sponsored walk yourself.

Email:

david.triggs@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Chester Leader

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