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On your bike Pensioner fined after staging theft of electric bike in fake insurance claim

John Collins (71) was caught when he was seen on CCTV removing the bike himself from where it was locked up

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John Collins was caught out after being seen in CCTV footage

John Collins was caught out after being seen in CCTV footage

John Collins was caught out after being seen in CCTV footage

A pensioner staged the theft of his electric bicycle so he could fraudulently claim the cost back on his home insurance.

John Collins (71) was caught when he was seen on CCTV removing the bike himself from where it was locked up.

Adjourning the case, Judge Bryan Smyth said he would leave Collins without a criminal record if he paid compensation for the false €1,425 insurance claim.

Collins, of St Pappin's Road, Glasnevin, pleaded guilty to dishonestly making gain by deception.

Garda Sergeant Michelle Lynch told Dublin District Court the accused reported the theft of an electric bicycle on November 2 last year.

He told Aviva Insurance he wished to make a claim for the loss of the bike on his home insurance policy and was paid.

When it was investigated, however, Collins was seen on CCTV returning to where he had parked the bike and removing it himself.

He was seen leaving the scene with his own property.

The accused admitted falsely making the claim on his insurance and falsely reporting the theft of the bicycle, Sgt Lynch said. He had no previous convictions.

Collins had worked all his life and was now retired, his solicitor Claire Finnegan said.

At the time of the incident he had been on medication that left him prone to acting impulsively and "completely out of character", she said.

A letter was presented to the court setting out the effect the medication had on him.

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Collins was willing to pay compensation but would need time to get the money, Ms Finnegan said.

Judge Smyth asked if the money he got from the claim had been spent.

Collins had spent the money on fixing a flood in his kitchen.

The court heard that when he went to retrieve his bike, it was "actually stolen".

The judge remanded the accused on continuing bail until March for payment of compensation.

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