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East Lancs mum’s fury as disabled son’s adapted bike stolen
THE mum of a disabled Barrowford man has spoken of her fury after his specially built bike was stolen from outside their home.
Gilly McHattie launched an online campaign asking for help in tracing the bike, which was taken from the family’s front garden in Stansfield Close.
It was returned a day later after a teenage boy sent Mrs McHattie a message on Facebook to say he had found it.
The 47-year-old, who cares full time for son Andrew Clough, said: “I’m very disappointed in the person who took it.
“I don’t know if they knew they were stealing from a disabled person or not, but they should not be stealing in the first place. I’m angrier than I am upset.”
Mrs McHattie said her 22-year-old son, who has Down’s Syndrome, was also upset by the theft of the red £650 bike, which has three wheels, an extra wide seat for his comfort, a storage box at the back, and ‘hubcaps’.
It does not have any brakes, instead slowing down when its user does not pedal, and can be collapsed into two for easy storage and handling.
“It was taken at around noon on Friday and returned on Saturday, although it is now damaged and cannot be used.
Mrs McHattie said: “My son was in respite care, and we went to collect him.
The bike was outside the house.
When we came back it was still there, but then we went to Asda for an hour.
“When we came back, the bike was gone.
“I reported it straight away to the police. They told me to share it on Facebook.
“A man sent me a picture, which shows four boys taking it down a pavement.
“The picture was taken near where we live.”
The family now face an anxious wait to see if the bike can be repaired.
Mrs McHattie, who said the theft took place following a recent spate of vandalism and anti-social behaviour, added: “Whoever took it has buckled it where it folds, but at least we have it back.”