‘Don’t pretend to be disabled’: Mother, 25, and son, nine, with life-threatening heart condition return to car to find ‘horrible’ note and huge scratch after parking on double-yellow lines
- Samantha Dunlop, 25, parked her mobility car on double lines in Weymouth
- Someone had left a note on her vehicle accusing her of not being disabled
- Ms Dunlop has a blue badge for her son Liam, 9, who has pulmonary atresia
Upset: Samantha Dunlop, 25, pictured with nine-year-old Liam
The mother of a young child with a life-threatening heart condition has been left furious after a note was left on her car accusing her of pretending to be disabled.
Samantha Dunlop, 25, parked her mobility vehicle in Weymouth, Dorset, to take her nine-year-old son Liam to the beach for a day out.
The youngster has pulmonary atresia which entitles her family to a blue disabled badge.
But Miss Dunlop was left sickened when the pair returned to the car to discover a large scratch alongside a nasty note reading: ‘you’re not disabled’.
Police are investigating and treating the incident as a hate crime.
Liam, who has been in and out of hospital for most of his short life, is entitled to a blue badge for the disabled.
Vehicles displaying blue badges are able to park on double yellow lines for up to three hours, if safe to do so.
Miss Dunlop and Liam discovered the note on the windscreen and the large scratch mark across the driver’s door when they returned to their car after spending around two hours at the beach.
The note said: ‘You’re not disabled, I am. You should not pretend to be disabled just so you can park your car. I have you on camera.’
‘You should not pretend to be disabled’: Miss Dunlop returned to her car to find the note after a taking her young son Liam to the beach
Miss Dunlop, a hairdresser, says her son had to apply for a blue badge and they went through an application process to receive a mobility car from the DVLA.
She added that it wasn’t the first time the pair had been victimised, and dubbed the attack ‘horrible’.
She said: ‘Liam doesn’t have a wheelchair – so people must have seen us getting out of the car and thought, he doesn’t look disabled. They put two and two together and must have thought we were lying and cheating.
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‘My son looks fine, but people don’t see what’s happening on the inside, unless he was to walk around with his top off.
‘He will have to have surgery and live with his heart condition for the rest of his life.
‘I’ve had people shouting at me and this is a daily occurrence for us.
‘To have a terrible note telling us we’re not disabled, so we shouldn’t be parked there, is horrible.’
Work to fix the criminal damage is expected to cost around £100, however one kind-hearted garage owner did offer to do the work for free.
The incident left young Liam scared, shaking and crying, with his mother adding he felt on edge about where they were allowed to park.
His heart beats twice as often as a non-disabled person and he requires regular rests and water breaks.
Despite this, Miss Dunlop says she tries to encourage him to be as normal as possible, and has hit out at people who criticise them.
Miss Dunlop, a hairdresser, says her son had to apply for a blue badge and they went through an application process to receive a mobility car from the DVLA
She said: ‘His heart beats twice as often as yours or mine would and he does need to stop a lot.
‘He gets upset that he can’t run as much as his friends but both myself and his cardiologist encourage him to try and be as normal as possible.
‘People will say something pretty much every time I park in a disabled space, even when I show them the blue badge.
‘Just because you can’t see a disability, it doesn’t mean there isn’t one there, but it just seems like a lot of people don’t want to understand that.’
Dorset Police have now launched an investigation to find those responsible.
A police spokesman confirmed they received a call reporting the incident at 3.37pm on August 6.
It is believed to have happened between 3pm and 3.15pm.
Sergeant Dan Galloway, of Weymouth Police, said: ‘This incident has understandably left the victim very upset and we will not tolerate hate crimes of this nature.
‘Enquiries are ongoing to identify those responsible, including a review of CCTV footage covering the area.’
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