Pirate FM News 3 minute read

Disabled Plymouth teen's speech machine is stolen

Disabled Plymouth teen's speech machine is stolen

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 2:21pm 12th January 2018. (Updated at 4:40pm 12th January 2018)

Photo: Paul Johnson

A disabled Plymouth teenager has been left unable to talk after her special computer was stolen from a car.

Miya Thirlby has cerebral palsy and epilepsy and needs the machine to communicate.

The Liberator Eyegaze machine is valued at £5,000.

Police say the offenders entered the VW Caddy in Marazion Way, Pennycross, sometime between 9pm on Monday 8th January and 7am on Tuesday 9th January.

Her dad shared an appeal on Twitter to try and track it down.

Paul posted: "Can everyone who sees this retweet this please. My daughter had her speech machine stolen out of the car.

"It's her only way of communicating with us. It was very pricey so it can't be easily replaced. Poor girl now can't speak to us again!!"

The post has been retweeted almost 60,000 times and support from celebrities has been flooding in.

Ex-England footballer Paul Gascoigne has already donated a thousand pounds.

The likes of Alan Sheerer and Dawn French has also shown their support.

A Just Giving page has also been set up by a man who came across Miya's story on Twitter and wanted to help.

The fundraising campaign has already smashed over 70% of its target.

Jamie Twite, who set it up, said: "I'm trying to help this family, from the Plymouth area, to replace their daughters speech machine that was so cruelly stolen from them.

"Their heart-breaking story which I came across on twitter, really touched me in the heart. so, as a result I have taken this decision to try & help in my own way by setting up this page, which I hope will help them to the £6000 needed for a replacement if the stolen one isn't returned to them.

"I'm starting the funding page of with my own donation.

"Please please please give whatever ever amount you can & a share is as good as a donation if not better & lets make their 2018 a happy ending."

You can find the donation link here.

Dad Paul added: "So a very kind gentleman has set a go fund me up.

"If the amount is raised and the machine is not returned it will obviously and firstly go to replacing the eyegaze.

"Anything left I would like to donate to  which is a kids hospice that takes of sick and dying kids like Miya."


A police spokesman said: “The thieves may have mistaken this equipment for a regular computer as the tablet was stored in a laptop bag. We would urge anyone who knows the whereabouts of this vital equipment to contact police.

"This is a devastating theft for the family. We are appealing for members of the public who may have any information or witnessed suspicious activity in the area to contact police to help us trace whoever is responsible.”

Please contact police via 101@dc.police.uk or by phone on 101, quoting crime reference CR/002527/18.

Contact Us

If you would like to submit a query or provide more information on this story please get in touch below.

Please wait...
  • Up to 3 JPG or PNG images, 2MB max size
  • We will always endeavour to credit you when we publish your pictures.
  • By uploading you are agreeing to this non-exclusive reuse, royalty-free, across all Pirate FM platforms, which extends to our partner broadcasters.
  • You retain copyright to all images.
  • If you would like to send us a video, please upload to YouTube or similar and paste the video URL into the message above.
Email Icon

Sign up for exclusive news, competitions and offers.
Proper Local News updates from Pirate FM

Suggested articles

68 dogs stolen in Cornwall and Devon last year

Cornwall News: Here is the list of breeds which are most at risk...

Elderly man dies after house fire in Plymouth

Cornwall News: Another casualty has been taken to Derriford Hospital

Newer articles

WATCH: Injured seals rescued across Cornwall

Cornwall News: Many have been affected by Storm Eleanor...

WATCH: Fresh appeal to help Cornish family hit by fire

Cornwall News: The late-night blaze gutted the house in Par

Older articles

WATCH: The police puppy who needs a forever home

Cornwall News: Devon and Cornwall force launches appeal for Danno

Four injured after rush-hour crash on the A30

Cornwall News: A stretch at Penzance was shut for three hours

Most read

Coronavirus: Thousands flock to Devon and Cornwall, where there are mixed feelings

National News: Thousands of tourists have flocked to Devon and Cornwall on the first day of lockdown easing in England but police have warned drivers and caravaners to beware of busy and wet conditions on the roads.

Half-a-million-pound fund to fight anti-social behaviour across the south west

Cornwall News: Seven summertime locations in Cornwall will benefit as a surge in visitors is expected this weekend

Pirate Extra Pirate 70s Escape LoveCornwall