Police are appealing for help to catch a 'despicable' thief who threatened a wheelchair-bound man with violence before stealing cash from him on Monday.

Martyn King, 24, who has been a resident at Shaftesbury Court care home in Trowbridge for two years, was travelling through the alleyway leading to the home from Manor Road at the time of the incident.

He was approached as he made his way along the path at 2pm by a man who threatened to punch him, before stealing his bum bag containing £30 and running off.

The offender is described as of mixed race, about 22 years old and of medium build. He was about 5ft 11ins in height with short black hair and was wearing black clothing.

Mr King, who was left wheelchair-bound nine years ago following an illness, said: “I remember this bloke coming up to me and saying if I don’t give him my money he would punch me in the face.

“I shouted for help and he grabbed my bum bag and ran off. It all happened before I could act and I couldn’t believe it. I have never had anything like that happen to me before.

“The money is a lot for me and I was going to put it in my safe as I was saving for a PS4 game. I was scared and very shocked and it has made me lose confidence in going down the alleyway.”

Shaftesbury Court is a purpose-built residential home for 18 young adults primarily with physical disabilities, and police are appealing for anyone who was in the area on Monday between 1.45pm and 2.15pm and saw a man matching the description.

DC Justine Wilkinson said: “The despicable and callous actions of this man have left the victim feeling shaken and vulnerable. I hope that the community will be similarly disgusted and assist us in helping to identify the suspect.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact DC Wilkinson at Melksham CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.