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Caravan torched at roadside in Lenham Heath

By Joe Wright

Linda Giddy, a volunteer at the Happy Endings Rescue animal sanctuary in Painters Forstal, forked out on the caravan so she could take her disabled mum, Rene, on holidays.

But that dream has been destroyed by thieves who stole the vehicle and then torched it at the roadside.

The Burnt wreckage of Linda Giddy's caravan in Hubbards Hill

The Burnt wreckage of Linda Giddy's caravan in Hubbards Hill

Linda, 55, says that the pair will never be able to afford a replacement.

“We can’t replace the caravan or the items that were inside – this is the end of holidays for mum and I.

“I used my pension and retirement fund to buy the caravan

“We found it impossible to find accommodation that would take three dogs and have facilities for my disabled mum who has spinal compression, so I researched the caravan best suited to her needs and then scrimped to get it.

“But to find out what has happened is absolutely devastating.”

It is thought the thieves cut a fence to gain entry into the site where the caravan was being stored in Lenham Heath.

Linda Giddy with her 83-year-old mother Rene

Linda Giddy with her 83-year-old mother Rene

They left with it being towed by a van but after getting onto the road they drove too fast into a bend and fell into a ditch in Harrietsham.

The caravan was then torched and abandoned.

“I can’t work out if I’m more angry or upset,” Linda said.

“It was obviously a planned theft but the frustrating thing about it is that they will probably never be caught.

“Mum and I had been having great times together in the caravan on our holidays but that has now been ruined.”

Police say they are aware of the caravan theft between 6pm on Sunday, November 5, and 9am the next day, but no arrests have been made.

The burnt remains of the pair's £20,000 caravan, which was torched after its theft went wrong

The burnt remains of the pair's £20,000 caravan, which was torched after its theft went wrong

Sanctuary founder Chris Johns says the charity’s volunteers are rallying around the pair.

He said: “Linda started helping at Happy Endings five years ago and she is always there for others – always cheerful and always ready to help someone.

“She gives so much, as does her wonderful mum who knits toys and blankets for us to help raise money for the animals.

“This is just an awful thing to have happened to two lovely people. We have set up a fundraising appeal to try and give back to Linda some of the things she has lost and hope others can help.”

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/lindagiddy

So far, the total raised stands at £320 – with a target of reaching £5,000.

Anyone with information on the theft and fire should contact the police on 01634 604100 quoting reference YY/32841/17.

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