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Thief only stole bike so he could ride home, court hears

"He just used the bike to get round to his house and left it parked up outside. He doesn’t know what happened to it," defence solicitor Simon Hutchinson argued...

A defence solicitor attempting to earn his client a more lenient sentence claimed the thief only took a bike from outside a newsagents so he could "get to his house".

The bizarre defence of Colin Campbell's actions was heard at Falkirk Sheriff Court on Thursday where, having pleaded guilty to the theft, the offender was sentenced to 160 hours of unpaid work, according to The Falkirk Herald.

The court heard that Campbell, who was quickly recognised by officers, had taken a bike worth £160 from outside a McColl's branch on Thornhill Road in Falkirk, but only did it so he could "get round to his house" and "he doesn't know what happened to it".

> “My heart sank”: Victim speaks out after shameless thief stole bike from cancer centre

"He just used the bike to get round to his house and left it parked up outside. He doesn’t know what happened to it," solicitor Simon Hutchinson claimed. "He said to me the other day – ‘frankly I’m getting too old for this’."

The victim has not been reunited with his bicycle, and it remains unclear if it was taken a second time once the 55-year-old returned home.

> Police in Oxford recover huge haul of stolen bikes, suspect arrested

Campbell was recognised on CCTV pictures from outside the newsagents and tracked down a short while after, although the bicycle was never found.

Procurator Fiscal Depute Rachel Wallace said: "The owner attended the newsagents and left his bicycle outside unsecured. He picked up his papers and left the store. That’s when he noticed his bicycle was no longer present."

Sheriff Christopher Shead ordered Campbell to complete 160 hours of unpaid work within 12 months.

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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3 comments

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mdavidford | 2 years ago
2 likes

Quote:

"He just used the bike to get round to his house and left it parked up outside. He doesn’t know what happened to it," solicitor Simon Hutchinson claimed. "He said to me the other day – ‘frankly I’m getting too old for this’."

Is that too old for nicking things, for cycling, or for remembering what you just did?

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Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
2 likes

Well that's alright then, as long as he was only stealing to get home… presumably next time I'm a bit short it's okay to mug a pensioner to pay my cab fare? If he had nicked a car to get home would he have enjoyed the same relatively lenient sentence? It seems the courts often regard bicycle theft as relatively minor if it involves a low value machine, even though it could be an essential and irreplaceable means of transport for a poor person, when someone who has their £30,000 car pinched can get it replaced on insurance without a problem.

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
3 likes

My wife used to work in a shop in Chislehurst. One of her collegues lived just up the road and had her rather knackerd Fiesta stolen one Friday or Saturday evening. It was found in East London. Apparently it was well known that several people who used to associate with famous Murderers ("but they looked after their mum so were alright") used to drink in the local regularly and then needed to get home afterwards. 

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