Friday, June 25, 2010

Thieves steal prosthetic legs of British Paralympian

From The Mirror in the UK:

Thieves have stolen the artificial legs of a Paralympian - days before he was due to walk his sister down the aisle.

Anthony Booth (pictured) , who hopes to compete in the 400m and 800m wheelchair races at the 2012 London Games, said: "I'm devastated. I wanted to do it for Angela - the way she always wanted."

The 33-year-old had his legs amputated beneath the knee when he was struck down with meningitis at the age of nine. He has spent the past four months learning to walk on prosthetic legs after his sister Angela asked him to give her away.

The legs and his wheelchair were inside his car stolen from outside his home in Blackley, Manchester. Anthony, who competed in the sledge ice hockey event at the 1998 Winter Paralympics in Japan, said: "I'm still going to give her away, in a wheelchair, but it's not going to be the same."

Angela (pictured), 42, who will marry at Manchester Town Hall June 26, said: "I'm really upset. When my dad passed away 12 years ago I wanted Anthony to walk me down the aisle as we're really close."

Villagers helped to catch two thieves who stole a nine-year-old boy's wheelchair while he was on a charity walk in Banwen, Swansea.