The daughter of a retired man whose beloved dog was stolen in a violent mugging says her father is in a ‘dark place’ and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Mike Jasper, 66, was walking his dog Ted, a Sprocker Spaniel, in South London in December after visiting his allotment when he was brutally attacked by two men wearing face masks.
The former police officer had adopted Ted three years earlier to help with his severe depression and anxiety, and his daughter Lucinda, 28, said that losing his much-loved companion has ‘destroyed any progress he had made’.
Appearing on This Morning today, she said that her father is ‘absolutely devastated’ after the incident, and is unable to leave his home or speak to other members of his family.
Retired Mark Jasper, whose family bought him a dog to help with his anxiety, has posted a £5,000 reward after his pet, a Sprocker Spaniel named Ted, 3, was stolen in a London park
His daughter Lucinda, 28, appeared on This Morning, where he told her father is in a ‘dark place’ and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following the mugging
‘He’s just absolutely devastated,’ she said.’This has completely ruined any progression he had made with his mental health.
‘He’s been battling severe depression and anxiety for the last four years and Ted really helped for the last three in terms of with bringing him back from a really dark place.
‘Sadly this has destroyed all of that. He’s suffering with PTSD, he’s not leaving the house, he can’t talk to anyone. He’s in a really dark place at the moment’.
The violent mugging took place when one of the dognappers approached Mr Jasper while he was walking on Cannon Hill Common, near Morden, and started asking questions about Ted, including what breed he was.
One of the dognappers approached Mike while he was walking on Cannon Hill Common, near Morden, and started asking questions about Ted, including what breed he was
Just as he bent down to put Ted on his lead, a second man came up behind him, punched him in the back and pushed him to the floor. They then grabbed Ted’s lead and ran off laughing, Lucinda claimed
When Mike said he was just leaving and put Ted on his lead, the man allegedly responded, ‘What, do you think I’m going to steal your dog?’
A second man came up behind him, punched him in the back and pushed him to the floor, forcing Mike to let go of the lead by stepping on his hand before, ‘running off laughing,’ Lucinda said.
Lucinda’s mother suggested Ted join the family when Mike was struggling with his mental health a year after retiring, and said that the pair were ‘inseparable’, with Ted able to provide comfort for Mike during low periods.
‘He’s been a dog lover his whole life,’ she said. ‘He retired early due to his mental health and after a year my mum suggested getting a new dog.
She told hosts Alison Hammond and Dermot O’leary her father is ‘absolutely devastated’ after the incident, and is unable to leave his home or speak to other members of his family
Mike’s wife suggested Ted join the family when Mike was struggling with his mental health a year after retiring, and Lucinda (pictured with Ted) said that the pair were ‘inseparable’
‘Ted was an absolutely amazing support dog to him, he’s the happiest dog you’ll ever meet, his tail never stops wagging and they were very much inseparable, he went everywhere with my dad .
‘Even when my dad was having those tougher days it was like Ted could sense it, and he wouldn’t be this usual lively Spaniel. He would sit with my dad and be very calm and offer him some comfort when he was feeling those low periods.’
Mike had paid £600 for the dog three years ago, but it is probably now worth around £3,000 because prices have shot up during the coronavirus pandemic due to increased demand.
The family have posted a £5,000 reward on social media and put up posters around the Wimbledon area.
On the show today Lucinda urged Ted’s new owner to return the dog to his rightful family, asking: ‘We’re just hoping whoever has him does the right thing and let him come home to his loving family’.
WHAT IS PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events.
Someone with PTSD often relives the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt.
They may also have problems sleeping, such as insomnia, and find concentrating difficult.
These symptoms are often severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on the person’s day-to-day life.
PTSD can develop immediately after someone experiences a disturbing event or it can occur weeks, months or even years later.