Man told gardai he stole bike because he was late for work

CourtsBy Sunday World
Man told gardai he stole bike because he was late for work

A YOUNG man who stole a bike from an apartment complex told arresting gardai he did it because he was late for work.

Jonathan Hughes (21) took the bicycle after he spotted a courtyard gate open and was caught that morning as he made his way to work on the bike.

A court heard the bike and gate were unlocked and it was a crime of ‘opportunism.’

Judge Michael Walsh adjourned the case and said Hughes could avoid a jail sentence if he pays €150 to the victim.

The defendant pleaded guilty to unauthorised taking of a pedal bicycle.

Dublin District Court heard the incident happened at Grattan Crescent, Inchicore on May 12.

The bike was taken at 10am and the defendant was seen on CCTV footage.

Hughes was stopped later that day on the same bike by gardai.

He was wearing the same clothes that gardai had seen in the video footage.

“The reason he gave for stealing the bike was that he was late for his boss,” a garda witness told the court.

The victim had come to court but did not want to speak. The bicycle was second-hand and worth about €150.

On the morning in question, the courtyard gate was open and Hughes was seen on CCTV walking past, then doubling back and walking in.

After he was caught, gardai were able to return the bike to the victim on the same day.

Hughes had 27 previous convictions for offences including theft, aggravated burglary and being a passenger in a stolen car.

Another prior conviction was for unlawfully taking a bike.

The latest offence was a case of opportunism, defence solicitor Aine Flynn said.

“The bike and the gate were unsecured and he was on his way to his Fas course that morning,” Ms Flynn said.

He was training in areas including forklift driving and was due to get a safe pass.

Hughes, with an address at Raheen Drive, Ballyfermot, was originally from the Inchicore area, Ms Flynn said.

He had a history of substance abuse but that problem was now under control, she added. 

Judge Smyth adjourned the case to a date in October.

“If he pays €150 to the injured party I will deal with it by way of a non-custodial sentence,” the judge said.

The charge against Hughes was under the Road Traffic Act.