Burglars raid Norwich mum’s home while she has chemotherapy
Burglars who broke into and ransacked the Norwich home of a mother-of-four while she was receiving treatment for terminal cancer have been branded the 'lowest of the low' by her husband.
Andrea West, 34, who is known as Angie, was at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital where she was undergoing chemotherapy to try and prolong her life when crooks targeted the home at Shipfield, off Sprowston Road, she shares with her husband Chris, also 34, and four children.
The offenders, who ripped a TV from the living room wall, stole a raft of items during the daylight raid, including a computer containing sentimental family pictures, a games console, iPhones and toys and games from the children's rooms.
Mr West, a house husband who has been married to Angie for six-and-a-half years, said the burglary happened on Friday February 3 while he was staying at a friend's house close to the hospital so he could visit his wife during her treatment for cervical canver which was discovered on the birth of her fourth baby.
He said: 'She (Angie) stayed in from the Tuesday to the Friday. I was nipping back and forward to feed the fish and make sure everything was OK.
'The last time I went there was Thursday and everything was fine, picked her up about lunch-time on Friday, went shopping and got back about 4.55pm. I opened the door and by 5.05pm I was phoning the police.'
Mr West said the TV had been taken off the wall, while the computer containing family pictures had been taken along with a games console, iPhones and scores of items from the children's bedrooms.
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He said: 'The next door neighbours thought it was us re-arranging the furniture and said it sounded like someone taking a TV off the wall.
'They (the burglars) went through all the children's drawers. They basically had no morals whatsoever and took whatever they wanted to - they didn't care what they took. They're scumbags, the lowest of the low.'
The theft devastated the family, but particularly Angie who was told last month she had terminal cancer and is currently receiving treatment to extend her life.
Mr West said: 'It was the straw that broke the camel's back. Firstly you're told you're terminally ill and you're going to have treatment to have as long as you can then this. She's absolutely devastated and has even talked about giving up.
'The first thing she did was just broke down and cried. I told her not to come in, but she wanted to come in and sort it out.
'The biggest blow is the two hard drives on the computer which had family photos - memories and stuff -from the past six years which we didn't back up on DVD. We never thought we were going to get burgled.'
Mr West said his main focus now is on staying strong for his wife and the children and trying to concentrate on enjoying the time they have left.
Angie was first diagnosed with cervical cancer at the end of January last year just a day after the birth of her fourth child, Enapai.
She kept bleeding after the birth and when doctors tried to establish why it was they discovered a six inch tumour.
Bouts of chemotherapy and radiotherapy which were followed by a month and a half of high dose radiation treatment initially appeared to have cured the disease, but last month Angie was told a secondary cancer had spread to the lymph nodes.
The burglary is being investigated by Norfolk police who have launched an appeal for witnesses to come forward and help them catch those responsible.
A spokesman said: 'The incident happened between 9am and 5pm Friday, February 3. Three TVs, a computer monitor, four games consoles two mobile phones and a digibox were stolen.
'Offenders have stolen a large number of electrical items in this burglary, causing distress to the occupants who were not at home at the time. Officers want to speak to anyone who may have seen or heard anything suspicious in this area during these times, or anyone who may be offered any of the items for sale.'
Anyone with information should call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Have you got a crime story? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.