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Teenager with one-in-a-billion condition has specialised bike stolen

PUBLISHED: 09:43 21 November 2017 | UPDATED: 09:43 21 November 2017

Chris Hill with his son Tobias,17, and the specially adapted disabled bike that was stolen and trashed.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Chris Hill with his son Tobias,17, and the specially adapted disabled bike that was stolen and trashed. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2017

A teenager who has a one-in-a-billion chromosome condition has had one of his only freedoms taken away from him after his specialised bike was stolen and vandalised.

Chris Hill with his son Tobias,17, and the specially adapted disabled bike that was stolen and trashed.
Picture: Nick Butcher Chris Hill with his son Tobias,17, and the specially adapted disabled bike that was stolen and trashed. Picture: Nick Butcher

Tobias Hill, 17, was out enjoying a fireworks display in his village Bracon Ash, near Wymondham, when it happened.

As Tobias has limited movement, the bike is fitted with a seat on the front.

His father, Chris Hill, says it was one of the only ways that he was able to get out with his son.

Mr Hill, who became a part-time teacher so he could care for Tobias, said: “One thing that I loved to do with him, over everything else, was to get on the bike and ride somewhere and say hello to the community.

Chris Hill with his son Tobias,17, and the specially adapted disabled bike that was stolen and trashed.
Picture: Nick Butcher Chris Hill with his son Tobias,17, and the specially adapted disabled bike that was stolen and trashed. Picture: Nick Butcher

“Tobias is known to everyone in the area. As you cycle around, he says hello to everyone. He is very friendly.

“It would be good if those who did this could meet Tobias to see what a lovely lad he is.

“The ironically cruel thing is he is probably the same age as one of them [vandals] but he has very limited abilities.”

Tobias lives with a chromosome condition, which has only recently been discovered, and is thought to affect just one in every billion people. There are only seven people in the world known to have the condition, which affects his development.

Mr Hill’s bike was also taken but he was able to recover it undamaged.

Tobias’ bike can cost between £3,000 and £5,000 and has to be custom-made.

Mr Hill added: “For Tobias, he finds it hard to get out and about as he is unsteady on his feet. The bike was a great way for him to get out with me and we’d go out to the countryside where we couldn’t go in a wheelchair or car.

“It seems as though it was a group of kids out for a laugh. They have broken the main seating area for the wheelchair which I think can be replaced. “Not all is lost but they [the vandals] need to think.”

Police are currently investigating the incident.

A police spokesman said: “We believe it took place between 8pm on Saturday, November 4 and 8am on Sunday, November 5.

“A specialised bicycle was taken along with another bike but both we found later down the road.”

Anyone who may have seen suspicious activity or with information regarding this incident is asked to call Norfolk Police on 101.

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