Police praise courageous Megan, 18
Published on: 07 Sep 2015
MUGGER Milan Bugala got more than he bargained for when her picked on a disabled teenager from Bromley Heath.
Plucky Megan Luscombe fought him off as he tried to snatch money from her when she withdrew £20 from a cash machine.
The 18-year-old has a genetic muscle-wasting disease called Friedreich Ataxia and uses a wheelchair.
She had been shopping near her college in Cheltenham and decided to withdraw some cash from her account.
As she held two £10 notes, Bugala, who had been standing behind her in the queue, grabbed one of the notes and half of the other.
Megan said: “I was scared but didn’t let go. I screamed and told him to stop.”
Two women and two men came to Megan’s rescue. One woman pushed Bugala into a nearby nightclub doorway and took a photo of the crook so she could show police.
Megan had been looking for shoes and a handbag for a ball at National Star College in Cheltenham where she studies art and design when the incident happened back in June.
Megan’s mum Janet, 48, said: “We are really proud of the way Megan reacted and how she’s coped with it all. She was very brave.
“It was very frightening for her and it took a few weeks for her to get over it. She was in shock and the shock takes a while to come out. I wasn’t with her as she’s at a college for disabled people in Cheltenham so the first I heard of it was when I had a telephone call from the college. It was worrying but I knew she was in safe hands with the college.
“The man who did this is very low. You can’t get much lower than trying to take money off someone who is in a wheelchair.”
Bugala, of no fixed address, was jailed for 18 weeks when he was convicted of theft at Cheltenham Magistrates Court. He was also handed a further four weeks for breaching a suspended sentence for an unrelated offence.
A spokesperson from Gloucestershire Police said Megan had been “courageous”.
“While we don’t usually advise people to confront criminals as you don’t know how they might react, Megan’s actions and those who helped her were courageous.
“Bugala’s actions were on the other hand were cowardly and we’re pleased he’s been given a custodial sentence for targeting a vulnerable member of the community.”