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Tonbridge gang attack on mum in mobility scooter leaves her scared to leave home

A disabled mother is now afraid to leave the house after being attacked by a gang while she tried to simply cross the road.

Rosalind Smith, 55, said she had been a recluse for months but had slowly been building up the confidence to leave her home in Pine Ridge, Tonbridge, on her mobility scooter.

She made only her third trip out by herself on Sunday evening to pick up some perspex which was being sold on a Facebook site.

Rosalind Smith and her therapy pig, Dotty (12983429)
Rosalind Smith and her therapy pig, Dotty (12983429)

However, on her way home, Mrs Smith - whose husband died just eight months after they married in 2010 - was surrounded by four hooded youths as she tried to cross the road in Darenth Avenue.

The group poked and prodded the 55-year-old, laughed at her and tried to steal her bag, umbrella and crutch before eventually walking away.

The unprovoked attack has since left Mrs Smith - who has been disabled for four years and lives with Dotty, her therapy pig - completely shaken and unable to leave her home.

"I was absolutely terrified," said the mum-of-four, who has even asked her son to removed the disabled sticker from her front door for fear of being targeted again.

"I just tried to get my head down and find a way out but I was panicking.

"It's a route I've done before and I've always felt perfectly safe, but now I never want to go out on the scooter again.

"My confidence has completely gone and every time I look at the scooter now, even though it could have been so much worse, I just get upset.

"It shouldn't happen to anybody, but to pick on someone who was visually vulnerable is really not nice.

"I don't want anybody else to have that fear of not knowing whether they're going to get out unharmed."

"It shouldn't happen to anybody, but to pick on someone who was visually vulnerable is really not nice" - Rosalind Smith

A Kent Police spokesman said: "At around 6.45pm on Sunday, June 23 a woman using a mobility scooter in Darenth Avenue, Tonbridge was approached by a number of people as she was attempting to cross the road.

"It is alleged attempts were made to take items from the woman including a bag, umbrella and a crutch.

"The victim suffered an injury during attempts by the suspects to remove one of the items.

"An investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call Kent Police on 01622 604100, quoting reference 46/120709/19.

"Alternatively call charity Kent Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555111."

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