Hit-and-run victim targeted by burglars

PUBLISHED: 08:00 20 January 2012

Neil's sister Mandy Parkes and her partner Darren Palmer.

Neil's sister Mandy Parkes and her partner Darren Palmer.

Archant

THE family of a former Royal Marine left brain damaged by a hit-and-run driver say they are in shock after thieves burgled his home.

Neil Parkes has been recovering since the incident in July 2010 which left him in a coma for days, and with lasting brain damage and an inability to walk.

But his family say the burglary of his Weston home has devastated the 48-year-old and knocked his rehabilitation back by months.

After serving in the marines for 23 years, Mr Parkes left the service and got work as a contractor for Scottish road maintenance firm Bear Scotland.

It was while he was painting a piece of road near Cupar in Fife that teenager Jordan Caird, who did not hold a driving licence, hit him and colleague Omar Abdulhamid before driving on.

Doctors initially thought Mr Parkes would not survive his injuries, and he was placed into a medically-induced coma.

Caird, who had been drinking wine before the incident, was jailed for 13 months for dangerous driving last June.

After spending time in intensive care at a hospital in Edinburgh, Mr Parkes was moved to the brain rehabilitation unit at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol before moving to a flat in Weston’s Grasmere Drive in June 2011.

Although Mr Parkes is now able to live on his own, he needs constant care from his family and carers.

His sister, Mandy Parkes, said: “He was making good progress and was just starting to walk without his wheelchair, but this has stopped that and set him back about six months.”

A television, laptop, Nintendo Wii equipment that had been helping him with his physical rehabilitation, and his wallet were all stolen.

Ms Parkes added: “We think it was someone who knew that Neil was vulnerable, as they ripped off the system on the front of the house that would let us in if he was in trouble. That’s how they got in.

“They are cowards, they have targeted a vulnerable person who is recovering from a serious accident, his mum has had to move in to help him out as he can’t stay in the flat on his own anymore.”

If you have any i nformation about who broke into Mr Parkes’ home, contact the police on 101.

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