Sally devastated by theft of fish
9:20am Sunday 5th June 2011
A SEVERELY disabled woman has been left devastated after her prized koi carp was stolen from the pond in her garden.
Sally Bickford, 37, who has cerebral palsy, was reduced to tears when she woke yesterday morning to find the pet, nicknamed Jaws because of his size, was missing along with around 15 other fish.
Police are investigating and crime scene investigators were dispatched to gather forensic evidence at the family’s home in Akers Way, Moredon.
It is not the first time Sally, who was born with athetoid cerebral palsy in four limbs meaning she cannot speak or move her arms or legs, has been a victim.
In October 2009 her dog Freddie was stolen while he was tied up outside a supermarket. After the Adver ran an appeal for the Yorkshire terrier’s safe return, Sally was reunited with her pet.
Her mother Christine, 63, said she knew it was not a heron as someone had cut the nets covering the pond and Sally had been in tears since the incident.
“She can’t stop crying. Her brother built the pond for her 22nd birthday and Jaws was one of the first fish. Sally loves animals and gardening,” she said.
“He’s about a foot long so he’s bigger than the rest of them. He’s got to be at least 15 or 16 years old now and I think he was worth more than £500. He’s not a common koi.
“We went out in the morning and saw that the pump had been knocked over. The mesh that was on there to stop the heron had been cut.
“There were about 40 fish in the pond and now there’s little more than 20.”
Christine described Jaws as a foot-long orange and white coloured koi carp and said she thinks the thief might want to sell him on.
“I don’t know if we’ll ever get him back,” she said.
“He could have ended up on someone’s plate by now. I’m sure it was planned because you cannot walk away with a fish in your hands.
“They must have had something to put him and the rest of the fish in.
“I just want to warn people that if anyone tries to sell them a koi carp it might be stolen.”
Anyone with any information, or who may be offered a fish resembling Jaws, should contact Swindon Police on 0845 408 7000 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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