Community spirit triumphs after autistic Essex man’s home burgled

Luke Bishop

Luke Bishop - Credit: Archant

Community spirit has risen to the occasion after the home of a young man diagnosed with autism and learning disability was broken into in an Essex village.

Luke Bishop has lived in the village, near Great Dunmow and Braintree, since he was nine months old, now 28 he lives in his own home with 24 hour support.

During the burglary, which took place between 6pm and 7.30pm on Wednesday, March 8, drawers were raided in the bedroom and lounge and Luke’s safe was broken into.

A large sum of money was taken from inside Luke’s wallet which he kept inside the safe.

His mum, Hannah Bishop, 53, said: “Luke saw the money as a collection, he has little recognition of how much or the value. He would not allow the money to be banked. He was particularly fond of the new £5 note.

“Luke was saving to give his house a makeover as many of his possessions were given by his nan when she moved house at the same time Luke moved into his.”

She added: “Luke has reacted in his own unique way, as expected, to the robbery. He has started to replace his collected of bank notes with other things ie. boxes of cereal, milk. He now agrees that money is not safe and to keep any cash in the bank.”

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The burglars also took a small amount of strong painkillers belonging to Luke’s support worker.

Donations to help replace the stolen money are being collected at Great Bardfield Co-op by Alice Jervis, a member of staff at the shop.

Hannah added: “As parents, we look to the future and what will happen for Luke when we are not able to be as involved in his life. It is a huge comfort to see our community in action, helping Luke and feeling his anger at his recent burglary.”

Although not hugely vocal about the upsetting experience Luke has been saying: “The burglars came in and stole all my money. I keep money in the bank now it’s too dangerous.”

Hannah said: “We are overwhelmed by the support and offers of furniture Luke has received and the sense of outrage within the village that this should happen to Luke.”

Detectives from Essex Police are continuing to investigate and anyone with any information can contact Dc Christopher Sedgwick at Braintree CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.