Bullying bike thief electronically tagged

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A BULLY has been put on night time house arrest for six months for snatching a teenager’s bike in a drunken episode.

Leon Francis, 32, was given the electronically tagged curfew from 6pm to 6am by a judge who watched a CCTV film of the midnight incident in Billingham.

The youngster had gone with a friend to a filling station kiosk in Marsh House Avenue on August 30 when Francis threatened to smack him unless he bought him some cigarettes, and then grabbed his treasured, modified bike.

Prosecutor Emma Atkinson said Francis rode away on it to a friend’s home nearby, and the teen followed him and phoned police.

Francis initially denied any involvement, but when he was shown the CCTV footage he apologised.

Michael Cahill, mitigating, said Francis did not normally drink much but he had been celebrating at a family party to welcome home his father from hospital where he had recovered from a life-threatening illness.

Francis, of Galesgarth Close, Hartlepool, whose girlfriend is expecting their baby in February, was given an 18 months jail suspended for 18 months and the six months curfew after admitting robbery.