Plea to catch vandal who targeted lifesaving kit

PUBLISHED: 10:48 02 February 2017 | UPDATED: 10:48 02 February 2017

Mike Passant is pictured with a defibrillator situated in Topsham. Ref exe 4010-17-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Mike Passant is pictured with a defibrillator situated in Topsham. Ref exe 4010-17-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Archant

Police are appealing for help identifying the vandal who damaged lifesaving equipment in the town centre.

Mike Passant, aged 76, from Jarvis Close, Littleham, who last year fundraised tirelessly so a defibrillator could be installed in The Strand, was dismayed when a cabinet protecting the equipment was broken over new year, resulting in its temporary removal until repairs were carried out.

Devon and Cornwall Police said the cost of the criminal damage was £900.

The damage happened sometime between Friday, December 30, and midnight on Monday, January 2 - believed to be between 6pm and midnight on New Year’s Eve.

The hinges on the defibrillator box were damaged.

Police are appealing for information.

Mr Passant hopes CCTV from the area could help police identify the culprit. The pensioner said the equipment had been returned to public use now the manufacturer had repaired the broken hinges on the unit protecting the defibrillator.

He added: “This machine was there to save lives and some twerp decides to break it. Luckily they didn’t get to the defibrillator.

“My first feeling was, I would like to see the person who did it in the same situation as somebody who needed the defibrillator, and say, ‘sorry, it’s broken’. I was very, very angry that some idiot on New Year’s Eve had tried to rip it apart. I would like to meet this person.”

The lifesaving equipment cost £2,300. Funds were raised after Mr Passant campaigned tirelessly to raise the cash.

The pensioner dipped into his own pocket, along with Franklins, to raise the final £200.

Contact police with information via 101@dc.police.uk or by telephone on 101, quoting crime reference: CR/002044/17.

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