14/08/2016 13:36 BST

Alton Towers Amputee Vicky Balch Hits Back At Social Media Attacks On Her Lingerie Shoot

'No-one sitting behind a keyboard will knock me down.'

PA Wire/PA Wire
Vicky Balch has been targeted with abused on social media

Alton Towers roller coaster amputee Vicky Balch, 21, has slammed social media bullies who mocked her for doing a lingerie shoot.

Balch, from Buxton in Derbyshire, posed for pictures in lingerie with her prosthetic leg last month, and after “nasty comments” has stripped off again for boxing-themed pictures in the Sunday Mirror.

Speaking to the newspaper, she said: “I dread to think how different it could be for a disabled person who doesn’t have the support network I do.

“Maybe the trolls would prefer it if I hid away in a room, ashamed of my new body. But I won’t do that.

“I’m stronger than ever - and no one sitting behind a keyboard will knock me down.”

Fabio De Paola/PA Wire
A crash on the Smiler Ride at Alton Towers left Balch in need of a leg amputation

She claimed the attacks were hate crimes against the disabled and hoped to see them classed as seriously as homophobia or racism.

Balch first posed for pictured in her lingerie in July, when she received a boudoir photoshoot for her 21st birthday. 

The gift, from her best friend Hanna, was a poignant one for the young woman, who has struggled to come to terms with her appearance since the crash.

Having nearly cancelled it through fear, Balch took part wearing Ann Summers lingerie and said the shoot had restored her confidence she thought she had lost forever.

Balch had her right leg amputated after the Smiler ride at the Staffordshire theme park smashed into another carriage last June.

Five people were seriously injured, including 19-year-old year old Leah Washington who also lost a leg.

Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd, the park operator, admitted a breach of health and safety rules and faces a heavy fine.

The company is due in Stafford Crown Court on Monday September 26, with the five most seriously injured victims expected to attend.