Northampton grandfather with hip replacement tried to chase thief who stole his car...and now appeals for return of paintings

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  • Brian Bodily, aged 79, left devastated after the theft of his car which contained his collection of paintings
  • Mr Bodily took up painting nine years ago after his wife died
  • The grandfather-of-seven will now have nothing to show at an upcoming art exhibition

A 79-year-old Northampton grandfather has been left without a year’s worth of his beloved artwork after a thief stole his car, which contained a number of his paintings.

Brian Bodily was at home in Ennerdale Road, Spinney Hill, on Thursday last week at 5am when he heard his door open and then his house alarm went off.

I am just a bit annoyed as the car can be replaced but the paintings can’t

Burglar victim Brian Bodily, aged 79

Despite the fact he is suffering from a bad back and had a full hip replacement, Mr Bodily went downstairs to investigate what was happening.

When he got to the door he realised that his car keys were missing and he then heard the engine of his Vauxhall Safira car revving outside his house.

Due to the unorthodox design of the handbrake, the thief was struggling to get the car to move quickly and Mr Bodily ran towards the vehicle to try to stop the thief.

However, the thief managed to work out how to use the handbrake and then sped off.

Mr Bodily, who took up painting after his wife died nine years ago, said he was upset about the loss of his car but also about the fact he had lost so many of his paintings that he was due to show in an art exhibition.

He said: “I had left the paintings in the car the night before as I had parked the car near a tree so the back door didn’t open easily.

“I had planned to take them in the house in the morning

“All my paints and brushes were in the car as well so they have all gone.

“I am just a bit annoyed as the car can be replaced but the paintings can’t. I thought my painting had progressed well this year and I was planning to show quite a few in an exhibition. I won’t be able to do that now.”

Mr Bodily’s granddaughter, Lucy Gregory, has put an appeal out on social media for anyone who may have seen her grandfather’s car, which is dark blue and has the registration KW08 NKC, or any of his paintings.

Ms Gregory said: “To someone else these paintings mean nothing but to us they are irreplaceable and have huge sentimental value.”

Mr Bodily is well-known in Northampton for being an active and passionate member of the Scouting Association and is the president of the Parklands Scouts Group.

He completes all his paintings at a weekly art class held at Weston Favell Aacdemy.