Corby VC hero James Ashworth charity bikes stolen

Kerry Ashworth, right, with the bike which has been stolen
Kerry Ashworth, right, with the bike which has been stolen

Thieves have stolen two bicycles used in fundraising events by the mother and brother of hero soldier Lance Corporal James Ashworth.

The bikes were taken from the garage at Kerry Ashworth’s home in Regal Close, Corby, last week but the theft 
wasn’t discovered until the weekend.

Lance/Cpl Ashworth, 23, a former pupil of Lodge Park Academy, Corby, was killed as he stormed an insurgent position in the Nahr-e-Saraj district of Helmand in June 2012, and was awarded the Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest military honour for bravery.

Since his death, members of his family have raised thousands of pounds for injured servicemen and the families of those killed in conflicts.

Mrs Ashworth said: “Both the bikes have real sentimental value and a special significance for us. We used them to raise money for charity in James’ memory and we would like them back.”

Mrs Ashworth’s grey Land Rover mountain bike was used on a sponsored cycle ride from Wellington Barracks in London to Waterloo in Belgium last September.

Along with her sister Sharon McHarg, she trained for weeks on the bike before the challenge which raised £5,000 for The Colonel’s Fund Grenadier Guards which supports members of the regiment seriously injured in Afghanistan and the families of those who have died in action.

The bike, which has a Grenadier Guards sticker on it, was given to Mrs Ashworth after the event by the regiment.

Thieves also stole a white Specialised Sport Elysee Elite racing bicycle belonging to James’ brother Coran.

He used it to complete a 610-mile charity cycle ride from Edinburgh to Wellington Barracks with other family members and James’ friends, raising £12,000 for the charities Help for Heroes 
and Blesma, the British Limbless Ex-servicemen’s Association.

Mrs Ashworth said: “The bikes are a link to James. I spent hours on mine training for the ride to Belgium.

“When I told Coran the bikes had been stolen he was just disgusted. We just want them back.”

A police spokesman said: “We would like to speak to people who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously in the Regal Close area of Corby last week and to anyone who has been offered either of these bikes for sale.”

Witnesses or anyone with information about this burglary are asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.