Thieves swap disabled woman’s trike for bike

Carline Barr. Picture: comp

Carline Barr. Picture: comp

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THIEVES stole a disabled woman’s specialised tricycle – and replaced it with a normal bike.

Victim Caroline Barr said the culprits had “added insult to injury” by leaving the pushbike at her St Leonard’s home.

Police are keen to trace those responsible for stealing the three-wheeler, which cost around £800.

Ms Barr, 47, said: “I thought it would be secure as I’d just bought a tougher lock but when I woke, it was gone.

“To add insult to injury, they left a two-wheeled bike.

“I don’t know if it was deliberate or if they chucked it out their van to make space for my bike.”

Ms Barr, who works as an usher at the Queen’s Hall on South Clerk Street, describes herself as a “wobbly walker” who needs the special transport to go about her daily life.

She added: “I can’t use a two-wheeled bike at all.”

To make matters worse, the incident is the second time Ms Barr has had a trike stolen.

“Three years ago, the same thing happened, but they didn’t leave a pushbike then,” she said.

“The people I used to work with had a whip-round for a new one, which was lovely.”

A police spokeswoman said: “Inquiries are ongoing and anyone who has any information should contact us.”

Although many may think of tricycles as a child’s bike, there a variety of designs for adults.

Specialist tricycles are often used by people who struggle to balance on bicycles, and they are popular with those who suffer mobility or neurological disabilities.

Ms Barr, who has lived in the Southside area for nearly 20 years, is an outspoken activist on disability issues.

Most recently, she mounted a successful campaign for dips in kerbs around Newington, claiming the current pavements restricted her access to the local library.

She even invited Southside/Newington Green councillor Steve Burgess to accompany her to Newington Library – and persuaded him to sit in her mobility buggy while she “hobbled” into the building.

“He came off the road pretty shaken up and a bit traumatised,” she said.

Her campaign resulted in the kerbs at the library being altered.

Ms Barr is also a keen member of local cycle organisations including Spokes, and fellow members are urging anyone with information about the theft to contact police on 101.