Thieves Ruin Disabled Teen's Holiday

Detectives are making a joint appeal for information with the family of a disabled teenage girl who were victims of burglary on the Isle of Wight.

A property in Pier Road, Seaview was targeted by burglars sometime overnight on Monday, June 20, 2011 into the early hours of Tuesday, June 21, 2011 while a visiting family from Staffordshire were asleep at the address.

Personal belongings were stolen from a 14-year-old girl with the metabolic disorder, glutaric aciduria type one, which causes her physical disability. The condition means that her body is unable to break down protein in the correct manner; this protein builds up and attacks the movement area of her brain. This is called a metabolic attack.

Shannon Winter, who has been nominated for a child of courage award in Staffordshire, had family presents of great sentimental value taken.

These included:

> A personal family diary with happy memories of Shannon’s progress

> A small blue Prada bag

> A small purple Gucci purse

> A Louis Vuitton key ring

> An iPod Shuffle and headphones


Other items reported stolen were:

> A Louis Vuitton black briefcase

> A Lumix digital camera containing personal family photos

> A Louis Vuitton money clip

> £380 in cash

> Family cheque and deposit books

> Two family mobile phones

> A phone charger

Shannon’s mum, Sharon Winter, from Uttoxeter in Staffordshire, said: 

 “Shannon was distraught and cried as she was so upset at knowing her belongings had been stolen. I believe the stress made Shannon’s medical condition worse and she’s had to take time off school. Shannon has had to cope with enough in her life already and it’s not fair that she should become a victim of crime too.

“The police attended almost immediately and were absolutely brilliant with us all. They then came again the next day and took fingerprints. This whole episode ruined our holiday. We tried to get back to normal for the sake of the kids but the worry and stress was horrible.

“For us, this was the lowest form of offending and I hope this appeal will reach someone’s guilty conscience and convince them to come forward and return these cherished items to Shannon. Somebody somewhere must know something and I would urge them to contact the police. Shannon is a person in her own right and we’re so proud of what’s she overcome.

“Shannon had a blue denim-type 'Prada' bag, which had a Louis Vuitton key chain on it. She was very proud of it, much as any child would be with a bike or computer, but Shannon could not use these things so we gave her other things to compensate. She always had this bag on her lap in her wheelchair; inside it contained her pink mobile phone. Again, she could not use it, but we as her family wanted her to have what other kids her age have. She also had special spoons for me to feed her, her purse containing her holiday money; headscarves to cover her head because of her alopecia, and a number of other personal items such as an iPod shuffle and headphones.”

Investigating officer Detective Constable Phil Harrison-Smith of Isle of Wight CID said: 

“This burglary was despicable behaviour that’s clearly distressed a courageous disabled teenager. Her family have shown great strength in dealing with the effects of what happened and we’re grateful for their time and co-operation in emotional circumstances.

"Officers are continuing to pursue several lines of enquiry in the community. With the support of Shannon’s family, we’re now issuing a wider appeal for anyone with information about the identity of suspects. Whoever is responsible should stop and think about the impact of their callous actions and contact the police to face the consequences of this crime.

"We’re also particularly interested to hear from anyone who remembers seeing or hearing any suspicious behaviour in the Pier Road area of Seaview between Friday, June 17 and Tuesday, June 21.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Isle of Wight CID at Newport Police Station by phoning 101 or emailing

From outside Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, call police on 0845 045 45 45. Mini-Com users can call the police on 01962 875000. Information can be given anonymously by calling the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.