A disabled teenager fought off a callous cashpoint mugger and snatched her money back – despite being in a wheelchair.
Megan Luscombe, 18, had just withdrawn £20 to buy a pizza when thief Milan Bugala, 51, pounced on what he thought was an easy target.
As he grabbed the cash Megan screamed and grappled with the crook – managing
to snatch back one £10 note and tear the second in half.
Passers-by then intervened and held homeless Bugala until police arrived to arrest him.
Megan has now bravely spoken out about the incident after her attacker was jailed for 18 weeks.
She said: “The man was standing behind me but I didn’t realise. He came forward and I thought he was going to help me by passing the money to me.
“When I realised what he was doing I screamed and told him to stop.
“We both had our hands on my money. I was scared but I still wouldn’t let go.
“I may be small but I have a strong grip. I can’t walk but I’m quite strong with my arms.
“I managed to grab back one £10 note and half of another before two men and two women stepped in.”
Megan has been wheelchair-bound for life because of the inherited muscle-wasting disease Friedreich Ataxia.
The incident happened in late June as she shopped in Cheltenham, Glos., for shoes and a handbag for a ball at the nearby National Star College where she studies.
She had just withdrawn £20 from the Santander ATM to pay for lunch when Bugala struck.
One of heroic passers-by shoved the thief into a nearby nightclub doorway. She then took a photo of the thief on her phone, while the other talked to Megan.
“I want to say thank you to the people who helped me,” said Megan, of Downend, Bristol.
“I was very worried that it would happen again but I’m proud of myself.
“It was cowardly of him to go for me.
“People in wheelchairs are seen as easy targets but the thief underestimated me. I can be pretty determined when I want to.”
Bugala, of no fixed abode, was convicted of theft at Cheltenham Magistrates Court on June 28 and jailed for 18 weeks.
He was also given a further four weeks for breaching a suspended sentence for an unrelated offence.
Kathryn Rudd, Principal of National Star College, where Megan is an art and design student, said: “Megan isn’t easily intimidated and certainly demonstrated that with her quick thinking response.
“She proved that she shouldn’t be underestimated just because she has a disability.”
A spokesman for Gloucestershire Constabulary said: “While we don’t usually advise people to confront criminals as you don’t know how they might react Megan’s actions and those who helped her were courageous.
“Bugala’s actions were on the other hand were cowardly and we’re pleased he’s been given a custodial sentence for targeting a vulnerable member of the community.”
Megan and other National Star College students are featured in a new BBC Three series called The Unbreakables which started last night (Thurs).
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