Charity minibus ‘smashed to pieces’ in Ilford

A charity’s minibus which transports children and adults with learning disabilities was “smashed to pieces” at the weekend.

The incident, which happened in the early hours of Sunday morning, was condemned as a “mindless act of vandalism” by staff members at Redbridge Forum in Ilford Lane, Ilford.

A spokesman for the charity said: “We came in this morning and it was completely smashed to pieces, every window was broken.

“Everyone was absolutely horrified. We couldn’t believe it.”

The minibus, worth more than �40,000, also suffered damage to the bonnet, window frames and front headlights and had been parked around the back of the office when it was targeted.

“It had been left in a nearby retirement home but they asked us to move it and two days later this happens,” the spokesman said.

“A shopkeeper told us he reported the incident when he saw people running away from the area.

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“We have no idea who did it and if it’s left here again someone is going to set alight to it.

“This is getting worse and worse around here and the police don’t do anything to stop it.”

The minibus, provided by government transformation programme Aiming High for Disabled Children in March, was towed away this afternoon for repairs.

It was also targeted in June and had its catalytic converter stolen while parked in one of the charity’s day centres.

Loxford ward Cllr Filly Maravala said: “I really hope they [the culprits] rot in hell.

“It made me sick when I saw the pictures.

“This is what my residents are suffering day in and day out and no one seems to be doing anything about it.”