AN OVERWHELMED pensioner burst into tears after her mobility scooter was fixed for free by a local retailer.

Gillian James had been distraught since the scooter was smashed and ripped apart by a thief two weeks ago.

The 78-year-old from Moredon relied on the scooter to get around because of the osteo-arthritis in her legs but couldn’t afford to buy a new one.

Staff at the The Mobility Store on Cricklade Road repaired all the damage, replaced every broken part and returned the scooter to her on Tuesday.

Store engineer Gary Neal presented Gillian with a bouquet of flowers and surprised her with the news that she wouldn’t have to pay a penny for the repairs.

Gillian cried with joy before hugging Gary, cheering, and taking her good-as-new mobility scooter for a test drive.

She said: “I can’t believe it, I’m overwhelmed by my happiness.

“I’m so full of joy I keep bursting into tears.

“The store took it in for repairs and I kept asking for an estimate because I was so worried about how much it would cost, but they wouldn’t tell me – now I know why.

“The Mobility Store have always been good to me, I can’t thank them enough, to do this for me for nothing is amazing.

“I love my scooter, it’s been hell since it was broken but hopefully now things will get better."

Gary said: “We wanted to surprise her and make sure we could repair the scooter without causing too much of a financial impact.

“The scooter needed a new head console, new plastic casing, new handles, new wheels, a new throttle, a new seat.

“We sourced all the new parts for free and we rebuilt the front.”

Willie McIver, director of The Mobility Store franchise, said: “We were sorry to hear that she had her scooter stolen, and that someone could do something so cruel.

“We wanted to help put things right.

“Hopefully this will show her that there are still good people in the world.”

Gillian, known to her friends as Gilly, has also received support from Fowlers Fencing, who fixed a broken fence post that the thief may have used to access her property, and some Adver readers got in touch to offer their help.

She was very grateful for the unexpected generosity she's had.

Gillian added: “Everyone has been so wonderful and supportive and kind, thank you so much.

“The person I want to praise most of all is you, Daniel, you’re my hero.”