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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 June, 2003, 16:43 GMT 17:43 UK
Coma woman's anger at theft
Christine McLay
Christine McLay banged her head when she fell from her wheelchair
A disabled woman who was robbed after she fell from her wheelchair in a diabetic coma has spoken of her anger.

A mobile phone and cash were stolen from 57-year-old Christine McLay from Edinburgh as she lay unconscious on the ground.

Mrs McLay was taking her dog for a walk in the capital's Southhouse Crescent at about 2100 BST on Friday, when she slipped into a diabetic coma.

Police have condemned the thief, describing his actions as "despicable".

Recalling what happened, Mrs McLay said: "I fell out of my wheelchair and banged my head.

"While I was down someone ran off with my phone and 84 from my purse.

"I have had to borrow money off a friend because that was all I had to buy food for me and my dog for the week.

If someone was lying on the ground you think you would do all you could to help them, not rob them. That's really sick.
Christine McLay

"I'm just devastated, if someone was lying on the ground you think you would do all you could to help them not rob them. That's really sick."

Mrs McLay is thought to have lain on the ground for about an hour before a motorist found her and put her back in her chair.

A neighbour phoned for an ambulance and it was after she had been taken home by paramedics that Mrs McLay realised her phone and money had been stolen.

The purse was later found empty near to where she had fallen.

A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman said: "The victim was quite clearly in a very vulnerable state and obviously very sick and it is despicable that anyone could be so callous to rob a person while they are lying unconscious."

Driver plea

Officers are keen to trace a driver who helped the victim back into her chair.

The spokesman said: "He may have seen something or someone acting suspiciously.

"All we know about him is that he was driving a dark-coloured car and said he had to leave as he had his granddaughter in the car with him.

"We would appeal to anyone who may have seen the theft take place or noticed the woman lying on the pavement to contact police."

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