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Mobility scooter theft victim Ray is back on road thanks to Pat...

PUBLISHED: 07:17 13 April 2012

Ray Gray tests out his new ride with generous Pat Leverton, friend Bill Parker and PCSO Saskia Van den Berghe

Ray Gray tests out his new ride with generous Pat Leverton, friend Bill Parker and PCSO Saskia Van den Berghe

Archant

Generous readers have answered the Gazette’s plea for a scooter to get an ex-pilot back on the road.

Overjoyed Ray Gray, 76, is once again zipping around the streets of Islington courtesy of kind-hearted Pat Leverton, 72.

She was one of two charitable souls who offered new wheels to the former RAF helicopter pilot after reading about the appalling theft of his Shoprider in March.

Mr Gray, of Charlotte Terrace, Islington, whose new ride was delivered to his door last Wednesday, said: “It’s fantastic – I can’t believe it. I have had to rely on friends and neighbours to do the shopping for me, but this has opened a new world.

“She’s made my life complete – now she will have to marry me!”

Mr Gray was left “heartbroken” and struggling to get about when scoundrels ripped open his lock-up and scooted off with the mobility vehicle he relied on every day.

His friend Bill Parker, 77, contacted the Gazette in the hope someone might come forward to help – and since the story ran two weeks ago, people have queued up to do just that.

As well as two scooter donors, an ex-serviceman wrote him a cheque for £200, while the Islington Veterans’ Association wanted to lend a hand any way it could.

The outpouring of support brought a heart-warming conclusion to what started as a truly sorry episode.

Mr Parker, of Bemerton Street, Islington, said: “It has made me quite emotional. The Gazette has done its business – and there’s hope for the world when you get people like Pat.”

Mrs Leverton, who lives just around the corner from Mr Gray in Wynford Road, paid £500 for the scooter just three years ago - but didn’t ask for a penny. It has barely been used after she replaced it with a bigger model soon afterwards.

She said: “I felt sorry for him when I read the story because nobody wants to be stuck indoors all day. I had this spare one that’s just been sitting outside my door all this time, but it goes like a trooper.”

PCSO Saskia Van den Berghe, of the Barnsbury Safter Neighbourhoods team, who helped arrange the scooter hand-over and gave it a quick clean, said: “When I visited Ray his face just lit up when I gave him the good news. This is a brilliant result.”

Phyllis Harrison, 72, of Brydon Walk, Islington, offered the other model, which needs a little work to get it up-and-running.


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