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Man who tried to sell stolen bike parts on WhatsApp jailed

Nottingham man bought thousands of pounds of bikes for £100 from contact

A man who tried to sell over £10,000 of stolen bike parts on the WhatsApp messaging service has been jailed for four months.

Marcus Fretwell, who had been ‘obsessed’ with bikes since the age of eight, legitimately sold parts over the years, but came into four bikes that had been stolen in March.

The 27 year old was offered four bikes worth between £1,500 and £4,000 for a price of £100, from a man in Clifton, Notts, who he refused to name in court.

He then contacted another man via WhatsApp and sold various parts to him.

Unaware of their origins, the buyer then attempted to sell them on to a bike shop in Radcliffe-on-Trent, where suspicious staff contacted police.

The seller led officers to Fretwell, who searched his home and found thousands of pounds worth of parts, including stolen items.

One of the victims of the bike thefts said “the loss of these cycles caused a great deal of inconvenience in terms of business and careers," Almas Ben-Aribia, prosecuting, said.

"Her partner could not take part in professional races for some times and they found the whole incident stressful and upsetting,” the Nottingham Post reported.

"He said he bought four bikes three weeks after a burglary occurred and bought them from two males in the Clifton area who he refused to name," said Miss Ben-Aribia.

"On two occasions he traded various parts with a man. Fretwell accepted he handled the stolen goods and, when he bought the bikes, he knew something was wrong with them. He saw the bikes on Facebook and knew at that time they were stolen and at that point he still decided to sell them on."

Fretwell was given a four month sentence for handling stolen goods and 12 months for breaching a
suspended prison sentence for being concerned in the supply of cannabis.

Digby Johnson, mitigating, told him Fretwell, a convicted shoplifter, had lost 'his compass' last year; coming off the rails and using cannabis.

"He has been fascinated with bikes since the age of eight or nine. He accepts he strayed beyond the boundaries of what he knows was right, proper and fair.”

Last year we reported how a bike thief from Nottingham who targeted expensive bikes which he sold on for a fraction of their value was jailed for 50 weeks.

Stephen Brecknock, aged 31, used tools including bolt-croppers and pliers to carry out a string of thefts in the East Midlands city.

He stole bikes from locations including the city’s railway station before police arrested him in August last year, Nottingham Magistrates’ Court heard.

He was stopped after an officer saw him riding past on a bicycle that was different to one he had seen Brecknock on earlier the same day.

He pleaded guilty to charges including five counts of bike theft and three of going equipped to steal.

In mitigation, James Buckley urged that a suspended prison sentence so Brecknock could get help for his drugs problem.

However, the court learnt that since being released from prison for one of a number of previous convictions, he had tested negative for drug use in tests.

Sentencing Brecknock, Deputy District Judge Kevin Grego said: "You have problems from your drug misuse but I am also concerned about your behaviour, which shows no empathy, no thought, for the victims of your offending.

"People return to the railway station late at night in order to make their way home to find somebody has decided to help himself to their bicycle. That makes it an expensive night for them.

"You go for top end cycles for the reason that, if they are worth £1,000, you can get £100 and it can keep you going for a few days. I have no confidence whatsoever that your behaviour will change."

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burtthebike | 7 years ago

"Marcus Fretwell, who had been ‘obsessed’ with bikes since the age of eight, legitimately sold parts over the years, but came into four bikes......"

That's a level of obsession you don't see every day.

Yorkshire wallet | 7 years ago

Is this the new wave of mitigating behaviour pleas now - pretending the crime is hobbyism gone bad. 

Yes, he was fascinated with bikes  - with stealing them and selling them for drug money!!

No doubt if he'd stolen TV sets he'd have been interested in that as well. 

Mungecrundle | 7 years ago

I don't know if removing the testes of bike thieves will change their ways, but surely it has to be worth a try.

mike the bike | 7 years ago

I have to disagree with the judge in the Brecknock case, I think his behaviour will change.  It will get worse.

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