Thieves steal money destined for blind baby

Thieves steal money destined for blind baby

Connor Wrighton

Nathan and Lisa Wrighton, with their son, Connor

First published in Local news Wharfedale Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Callous thieves stole money which was collected to help a blind baby to see.

The thugs escaped with around £30 from a collecting tin after smashing their way into a Yeadon sandwich shop.

Bizarely although they snatched the money destined for little Connor Wrighton they left two other collecting boxes untouched.

The daylight raid happened at Ideal Sandwiches on Victoria Avenue during the afternoon of Friday, August 15.

Sophie Hinnells, whose parents own the shop, said the tin was half full and contained around £30 which was being collected towards a fund to pay for an operation in China to help Connor to see.

She said the raid was carried out in broad daylight by about three men in their mid-twenties who kicked the door down.

"The only other thing they stole was a packet of crisps," she said, "We had two other charity tins, but they didn't take them."

She said the thieves, who wore gloves and who had their hoods up, were captured on CCTV.

The raiders were seen breaking into the shop, which is on a main road, and the police were called - arriving within about three minutes.

Sophie said everyone had been shocked by the theft of the charity money.

"It is not really something you would expect someone to steal," she said.

Connor's parents, Lisa and Nathan Wrighton,who live in Skipton, launched their appeal earlier this year to pay for treatment which they desperately hope will help their blind baby to see.

Making their appeal when Connor was just over six months old, they said fluid on his brain and subsequent damage to his optic nerves soon after birth appear to have left him completely without sight.

Lisa and Nathan think they have found possible courses of treatment overseas which could, at least, give their only child the chance of some vision.

But they need to raise at least £13,000 over the next few months to pay for it.

The couple realised Connor could have problems just hours after he was born, in Airedale Hospital at the end of November. His head was growing far too fast and doctors at Leeds General Infirmary eventually found that he had a slight cerebral palsy, which is affecting his motor skills.

Nathan, 27, a paintsprayer at Skipton Ford, said that eventually they realised Connor was not responding at all to visual stimulation. Connor has now been found to have optic atrophy, which means he is completely blind.

Appealing for help in June he said: "Obviously we have been completely devastated by this. Our lives have been completely turned around, but we didn't want to just accept the situation. We have done a lot of research online and have found companies in America, Ukraine and China which can perform stem cell treatment.

"This could give Connor some limited vision at least. He is never going to see more than vague shapes, but we want to give him every chance we possibly can."

Mum Lisa, 28, assistant manager at Altham's Travel in Skipton, said they had already had lots of fundraising ideas from friends and family. Her sister Michelle and friend Becky are intending to do a sponsored skydive later in the year and plans have already been put forward for fundraising events.

Lisa said: "Everybody's been brilliant with ideas and people have already donated, but there is a long way to go. We have also organised a fundraising dinner at the Rendezvous Hotel in Skipton on August 22, so we are hoping things will go well with that."

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