Reward offered in plea to find stolen bike with deep sentimental value for Northampton family

A Northampton family is offering a £250 reward in a bid to get back a bicycle with deep sentimental value after it was stolen by an opportunistic thief.

Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 3:50 pm
Luke Barker's bicycle that was stolen four years after riding it from John O'Groats to Lands End in memory of his stillborn daughter Jasmine

Desmond Barker only left the bike he was borrowing from his son Luke outside his ex-wife's house on Lindsay Avenue, Kingsley Park, for a matter of minutes yesterday evening (Tuesday, December 3).

But by the time the grandfather returned, the dark grey Vodoo Marasa - which Luke rode from John O'Groats to Lands End in 2015 in memory of his stillborn daughter Jasmine - was gone.

Luke said: "I would like to have it back and I know things move quickly and it's probably been spray-painted green now or whatever.

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Luke Barker, who co-founded charity football team Still Men FC

"But with the story that goes with it, it might make a soul think differently and hand it back quietly - you never know."

Jasmine died 41 weeks into the pregnancy in 2012, and three years later Luke raised around £4,000 for stillbirth and neonatal death charity Sands by cycling the length of Britain.

Tragically Luke and his wife Hannah lost another child, Freddie, at 26-weeks-old into the pregnancy in 2016, as his brain had not formed properly and he would have been born with life-limiting disabilities.

The Barkers do have two other children - Joel, five, and Freya, one.

Luke kept the bike as a momento of his efforts and 'as a good story to tell the granchildren' but had stopped using it recently, hence Desmond borrowing it.

He had gone to drop something off at his former partner and Luke's mother's home and left the bicycle outside with a wheel lock on at around 7.30pm, meaning the thief must have carried it off.

Luke said: "It's frustrating for me and my dad, he feels really guilty about it and is offering the reward on his Facebook page, but I'm just leaving it him really."

Anyone with information about the stolen bike is asked to call Northamptonshire Police on 101.