Theft victim hits out at “paltry” sentence

Harry Blackwood with his recovered bike
Harry Blackwood with his recovered bike

A CYCLIST is to write to Hartlepool justices to complain after the thief who stole his £7,000 bike kept his freedom.

Keen club cyclist Harry Blackwood hit out at the “paltry” sentence handed down by magistrates to thief John William Robinson.

Robinson swiped Harry’s £7,000 racing bike from outside of a vets surgery in Hartlepool after he left it for a few seconds.

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He was sentenced at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court for the theft along with a number of other offences.

But Robinson walked out of court after being given a 26-week suspended prison sentence, probation and a curfew.

Harry, a 55-year-old dad of three said: “To say I’m seething is an understatement. I just despair at the state of law and order.

“I’ve been told he this guy has been a serial offender since he was knee high to a grasshopper.

“I was optimistic that he would get sent down.

“I want to write to complain to the magistrates just so they know how I feel.”

Keen club cyclist Harry gave chase after Robinson, 25, made off on his bike from Clifton Lodge Veterinary Surgery, in Stockton Road, Hartlepool on May 12.

He jumped in a passing police car and he was soon spotted leaving the expensive cycle outside One Life Hartlepool, off Park Road.

Former Mail editor Harry, who lives in High Heselden, praised the police as “brilliant.”

He added: “This is like a kick in the teeth to the police. I was absolutely humbled by how much effort they put in and how they put their own safety at risk to catch this guy.”

Robinson, of Borrowdale Street, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to theft of the bike and escaping from lawful custody.

He also admitted stealing two electric saws from B&Q on April 19, breaching a conditional discharge, theft of a watch from Argos on May 1, and damaging a mattress in police custody.

He was given a total of 26 weeks in prison suspended for 18 months, with 18 months supervision and an electronic tag curfew from 7pm-7am.