A CROOK caught with two imported bikes belonging to a former Hartlepool United football player will carry out unpaid work.
Police raided the home of Mark Angus and discovered the two mountain bikes – which belonged to Icelandic striker Armann Bjornsson – in the back garden.
The distinctive cycles – which had been shipped over from Scandinavia and worth £1,300 – had been swiped from the unlocked garage of 30-year-old Bjornsson’s home, in the town’s Bishop Cuthbert estate.
The court heard how 28-year-old Angus was offered them by a gang of men at some shops 11 days after the burglary, and admitted that he knew they had been stolen.
Joanne Hesse, prosecuting at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court, said: “The bikes were purchased in Scandinavia and are very distinctive, and were stolen from an insecure garage on January 14.”
Police received information that led to the search at Angus’s house on the afternoon of Tuesday, January 25, and he made full admissions in police interview.
Angus, of Dowson Road, in the West View area of Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods.
John Relton, mitigating, said his client, who has no previous convictions for dishonesty, accepted the offer of the stolen bikes after having his own cycle pinched.
He said: “Mr Angus had his own bike stolen and made inquiries to try to trace it.
“A group of lads at the King Oswy shops gave him one of these bikes and said ‘take that for the time being’.
“Subsequently, the second bike arrived at his home at which point my client realised that the items were stolen.
“He accepts that he should have told the police but his idea was to try to sell them to make money as he is currently out of work.”
Mr Relton added: “It was an error of judgement for which he is very sorry.”
District Judge Martin Walker sentenced Angus to a 12-month community order with 80 hours unpaid work and ordered him to pay £85 costs.
The bikes were returned to Bjornsson, who moved to Pools in August 2009 from Brann, in Norway, and who made his debut as sub in the 1-1 home draw against Wycombe Wanderers.
He left Pools at the end of last season after not being offered a new contract by the club, along with nine other players from the 2010-11 squad.