Wednesday, May 20, 2009

'Sickos who stole my wheelchair are just scumbags!'

Published Date: 20 May 2009

A MAN who had his legs amputated after being beaten, burnt and left for dead in a brutal attack has had his specialist wheelchair stolen while in London to audition for a TV role.

Edinburgh-born Ian Colquhoun was left disabled after the horrific assault, which saw him attacked with a pick-axe handle and set on fire in a raid on his former home in Ireland in December 2002.

Now a successful author and actor, Mr Colquhoun had just finished an audition for the part of a concerned relative of a cancer patient in an episode of Doctors at the BBC television centre in London's White City last month, when three men – thought to be in their late-teens or early-20s – made off with his wheelchair.

The 31-year-old from Blackford described how the chair came to be stolen: "I was sitting at a picnic table outside the television centre in the afternoon. I had my prosthetic legs on and I had left my wheelchair on the grass no more than 12-15 yards behind where I was sitting. "I was having an informal chat with the producer and assistant about the possibility of appearing on a Horizon programme about stem cell research.

I even joked with them that nobody would steal my wheelchair."It happened in the blink of an eye – I had my back to the three men who took it. We clocked that it had vanished and the producer chased after them."The thieves were caught doing stunts on the black Invacare Zipper 2 – which is worth around £300 – on CCTV but police never managed to find the culprits or the wheelchair, and the case has now been closed. The wheelchair is different from usual models as the wheels are set further back, where most of the weight is carried.

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