A ‘mean’ thief stole a mobility scooter from a train station – leaving the owner to struggle home with a walking stick.
Liam Gravil, aged 26, dumped the £400 scooter near a bridge just hours after stealing it from the platform at Hatfield and Stainforth.
Doncaster Magistrates’ Court heard the 60-year-old owner was forced to phone his mother-in-law to bring a walking stick to help him make the journey home after making the upsetting discovery.
June Allen, prosecuting, saidthe mobility scooter was never recovered and the owner had been left with no other option but to go out and buy a new one.
She said: “The owner of the mobility scooter could not take it on the train with him on this day as normal as there was insufficient room so he left it parked securely on the platform.
“When he returned, the scooter was missing. It later transpired the defendant had stolen it.
“He had to ask for assistance from his mother-in-law and walk home with the aid of a walking stick, and in doing so had a lot of pain down his right side.”
The court heard CCTV footage showed Gravil taking the scooter from the platform.
Ms Allen said Gravil told police he thought the scooter had been abandoned but later accepted that he had been dishonest.
Nigel Misson, mitigating, said: “He was heavily in drink at the time. He took the scooter and pushed it about 50 metres as he didn’t have the key, he dumped it near a bridge but it was never recovered.”
He said Gravil would not be suitable to carry out unpaid work as he suffered from epilepsy.
Sentencing Gravil at the court on Tuesday, District Judge Jonathan Bennett told him: “You are not heavily convicted but on this day you committed a serious and quite a mean offence.
“It was obvious that the mobility scooter belonged to someone who has difficulty getting around and you made it considerably inconvenient for them and as a result they had to go out and buy a new one.”
Gravil, of Broadway, Dunscroft, pleaded guilty to one count of theft and was given a 12 month community order with a 12 week curfew.
He was also ordered to pay £580 in costs and stump up £400 in compensation – to be deducted at £5 a month from his benfits.
British Transport Policelaunched an appeal following the incident on July 16, releasing CCTV images in a bid to catch the culprit.
Speaking at the time of the crime, PC Jade Snaith said: “This incident has left the victim feeling extremely vulnerable and isolated since he can no longer get around.”