Perthshire Advertiser

‘Thieves who stole lifeline bike are just scumbags’


A Pitlochry woman with MS has branded those who stole a quad bike which helped her spend quality time with her family as a “scumbags”.

Lesley McGown (62), who has had the four-star East Haugh House Hotel with her husband Neil for 31 years, told the PA that in all that time, nothing has ever been stolen before.

She was heartbroke­n and angry when, after hearing a noise in the night, the next morning she discovered her prized white mini quad was missing.

She believes the thieves had been watching her home while waiting to make their move.

“The quad bike was absolutely brilliant for me with my MS,” Lesley told the PA.

“Neil is fishing mad and so was I before I developed this condition. Being aboard my trusty quad I could go round our big garden and off-road and along the river bank without worry.

“I’ve had this little quad for about eight years, it has been my freedom to go on adventures up the hill near our home with our grandchild­ren who are eight and six.

“I don’t want a mobility scooter, the mini quad was just ideal for me and helped me do what I love to do.

“It had been a challenge to find a smaller type quad, they are quite hard to come by.

“We got it partly for me to assist with my disability and also because the grandchild­ren could eventually grow big enough to enjoy it too.

“Whoever took it are real scumbags. They didn’t do it alone, the keys were locked away, so they would have had to have lifted it away with another person.

“They also had to have been watching for an opportunit­y.

“I’m absolutely gutted that this one night in June it was sitting outside when I went to bed. Ordinarily it is in the garage, away out of sight.

“Neil and I are convinced we heard something around 11pm. I’m glad now I did not go out to see what was up because it could have been dangerous - I’m not sure what I would have done if I had confronted whoever it was out there.”

A spokespers­on for Police Scotland said: “Police are continuing their enquiries into the theft of a quad bike from Pitlochry that was reported on June 19.”

The theft, the first since the McGowns bought the hotel beside the A9 in 1989, is a double blow because Lesley cannot claim for the loss on her insurance.

She said: “We found out after that, as a motor vehicle, it needed to be separately insured, it does not come under our house insurance. It needed a separate policy and so that’s just tough luck for us.”

Despite the loss of her quad bike, Lesley and her husband are feeling positive and all set for the reopening of their 12-bedroom hotel and restaurant business.

The East Haugh House Hotel, named as Scotland’s ‘Hotel of the Year’ at the 2018 Prestige Hotel Awards, opens again for food on July 30 and for accommodat­ion on July 31.

The couple were quick to offer help to others when Thomas Cook went bust last year, giving a free weekend break at East Haugh House to any previous employees of the stricken travel firm.

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