Attitude towards the disabled ‘disgusting’

Mohamed Ali Paxton wants to raise awareness of people in Horsham with disabilities -photo by steve cobb
Mohamed Ali Paxton wants to raise awareness of people in Horsham with disabilities -photo by steve cobb

A disabled man from Horsham says the attitude towards disabled people in the town is getting worse.

Mohamed Ali Paxton, of Granary Way, suffers from seven medical problems including diabetes, asthma, osteoarthritis and a heart condition.

He said that he felt compelled to speak out after reading in the County Times about a complaint regarding the treatment of an 11-year-old disabled girl by police.

It is alleged that she was physically restrained by police officers during a string of incidents across the county.

The matter is now the subject of an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Mr Paxton, who has lived in Horsham for 25 years, said there were widespread issues over attitudes to the disabled.

The 57-year-old, who used to work for Classic Cinemas, said: “Disabled people in this town are being beaten down no end.

“There are some days I’m scared to walk out my front door.’’

“I was in Sainsbury’s car park and a man watched me getting my scooter out. They can see I’m disabled.’’

He says there are misconceptions of what disability looks like and as a result he has been accused of benefit fraud, but none of the complaints were upheld.

“The paralympics didn’t change anything. People think because I can walk I shouldn’t be on benefits.

“Some days I’m OK and I can walk, but some days I can’t walk at all.

“The community says disabled people are not allowed to have a big four by four vehicle, saying ‘I work my guts out and he’s getting everything for free’. It’s not like that.

“When they wake up they don’t have to spend two hours getting ready. We have to take 25 drugs.

“My pulse rate is high enough to give me a stroke. You don’t know it’s there. I wouldn’t survive a stroke or heart attack. If I wake up in the morning I thank God I’m alive. ”