Judge slams ‘mean’ thief who stole club barman’s bicycle

The trial jury has retired to consider its verdict.
The trial jury has retired to consider its verdict.

A club customer was caught on CCTV stealing the barman’s bicycle.

John Gray took the bike from a corridor in the Catholic Club in Marlowe Road in Hartlepool.

The bike’s owner had used it to get to work for his shift that evening, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Rachel Masters, prosecuting, said: “The theft was captured on the club’s camera system, and police were able to identify the thief as this defendant.

“He made no reply when questioned.” The court heard the theft put Gray in breach of a suspended sentence for two offences of dangerous driving.

“On the first occasion he reversed into a police community support officer,” said Ms Masters.

“The second offence of dangerous driving related to him doing a u-turn and driving the wrong way around a roundabout.”

Gray, 23, of Cornwall Street, Hartlepool, admitted theft on January 5, and he admitted breach of a suspended sentence.

Stephen Constantine, defending, said in mitigation: “Mr Gray has been in prison on remand for five or six weeks.”

Judge Tony Briggs sentenced Gray to 150 hours of community work, and 10 days of rehabilitation activity.

The judge said: “Stealing someone’s bicycle is a mean and unpleasant offence”