'My memories of Anthony have been taken away': Grieving South Shields woman "broken" after thief stole dead partner's bike
A grieving woman has been dealt a cruel double blow, after a heartless thief stole her partner’s bike less than a year after his sudden death.
Lesley Ann McArthey, from The Nook in South Shields, had parked the bike under the window of a friend’s house on Borough Road, on Sunday, June 2, when it was stolen at around 7.15pm.
The heartbroken 56-year-old is pleading with anyone who may have information to come forward, saying she “can’t rest” until it is returned to its rightful owner.
The bike, which is of highly sentimental value to Lesley Ann, belonged to her former partner, Anthony Clouston, of South Shields, who died on October 1 last year, aged 57.
Anthony died suddenly of a blocked artery, and it was Lesley Ann who found his body alone in his flat two days later, a tragedy she has been struggling to come to terms with ever since.
“[Anthony] passed away suddenly, unexpectedly and I have suffered every day since it happened,” said Lesley Ann, who met him six years ago.
The bike was her last tie to Anthony, a keen photographer, who could often be seen riding around the town on it.
“It’s the sentimental value, my memories of Anthony have been taken away,” Lesley Ann continued.
“He loved this bike, it was his pride and joy. He travelled all over on it and was a well-known character in South Shields. He was just a lovely person.”
Lesley Ann’s purse, which was in one of the pockets of the bike, was discarded near a bus stop in King George Road and later handed into the police.
A Facebook post appealing for information, including a video of the theft taking place which was filmed by a neighbour, has had thousands of views, but so far failed to bring anything to light.
“I am pleading with anyone who knows any information to getting this bike returned, someone must have seen something,” said Lesley.
“I know there are honest people out there, and I know that someone will know the person or persons who did this.
“I can’t rest until I find this bike.”
A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “At 9.26pm on June 2, police received a report of theft of a bicycle from outside an address on Hayton Avenue, South Shields.
“The bike is described as light blue with white bars and has a small triangle rucksack that is secured to the bike with a red heavy duty lock attached.
“Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 101 and quote reference number 1005 02/06/19.”