A GRANDMOTHER told how she has been left feeling intimidated and worried about going out in her mobility scooter after a stranger hurled abuse at her for no reason as she tried to cross the road.
Julie Houckham, 61, from Canvey, was making her way across the zebra crossing in Foksville Road, on the island, using her mobility scooter.
She has been left shaken by the encounter.
The grandmother said: “It takes a lot for me to get out and about without my car, but on my husband’s day off he tries to persuade me to go out using the scooter.
“As we got into town, and crossing on the pedestrian crossing by Natwest a car stopped.
“I crossed and as always – being a driver myself – I raised my hand to gesture thanks and smiled and mouthed thank you as I always do.
“On pulling away the driver of the car shouted and swore in an extremely loud and intimidating manner.
“I was extremely upset for the rest of the day and felt I had done something wrong.
“I am so mindful of other people when on my scooter.
“It took me such a long time to agree to have one as I have always been so I dependant.”
Mrs Houckham has psoriatic arthritis and osteoarthritis and also suffered anaphylactic shock after she was in a coma for three days three years ago – causing her to have a mild stroke.
She now relies on the mobility scooter to get around.
However, she said being reliant on the scooter has left her feeling self conscious following the abuse.
Mrs Houckham was left shaken by the incident, but sadly said it is not the first time that this has happened to her recently.
She said: “I’m not a woman that likes to cause any trouble.
“I worked for 14 years as a customer service manager and had good people skills.
“People do not need to be abused in this way, elderly, young, healthy or disability issues.
“The last time anything like this happened it was just a few youngsters shouting out of the car taking the rise of someone in a scooter, but it is still upsetting.