Letchworth deaf dad “truly taken aback” by “wonderful” reaction of community after daughter’s bike stolen

Letchworth sign

Letchworth sign - Credit: Daniel Wilson

A deaf dad has been “truly taken aback” by the “wonderful” reaction of the community after his young daughter’s bike was stolen.

Mark Watling’s nine-year-old daughter’s bike was stolen on July 3 when it was padlocked outside Letchworth Swimming Pool in Icknield Way, after he had saved up for six months to buy it for her as a joint birthday and Christmas present.

Following the Comet’s appeal, offers have been “streaming in” to help the single father who moved to Ridge Avenue in Letchworth in September last year to give a better life to his daughter, who the Comet has been asked not to name.

Family friend Kirstie Simmonds spoke to us on Mr Watling’s behalf as he has to use sign language to communicate.

She said: “Mr Watling, his daughter and I wish to say a huge thank you for everyone’s kind words of support and for the numerous offers of a new bike.

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“The kindness and generosity of the people of Letchworth, Baldock and Hitchin has been overwhelming and has made the family feel so supported by the towns. We have been truly taken aback by such wonderful sincerity.

“It has been heart warming to know that there are sincere and loving people who will come to the aid of a young girl who is now very happy with her donated bike by a lovely family who live close by.

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“We cannot thank this family enough for their kindness and generosity, the young teenage girls who gave up their bike for her and all the other offers that have been streaming in too.

“There has been wonderful support and offers that we have received over this week and there is a very happy little girl who is now riding around on a lovely blue and white mountain bike. It has restored our faith in the area so much.”

Ms Simmonds added: “Unfortunately no culprit has been apprehended as of yet, but we are hopeful that the police will locate the person in the near future and bring them to justice as these sorts of crime create so much upset.

“These types of disgraceful people are stealing from those who do not have money and that makes them the lowest of the low. We reiterate if you have any information to whom did this disgraceful deed of stealing the bike to please speak up.”

Anyone with information should contact PCSO Martin Barringer via the Herts police non-emergency number 101. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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