Police in Ghana have rescued an alleged bike thief from an angry mob that was planning to set him on fire.
According to the Ghana News Agency, police in the north-western town of Wa were pelted with stones as they rescued Safiq Kayaani from the mob, who had already administered the alleged thief a severe beating.
Eye witnesses said Safiq was released from prison less than two months ago, and would have been burnt to death had he not been rescued.
Assistant Superintendent of Police Edmond Nyamekye, the Public Relations Officer of the Upper West Regional Police Command told the Ghana News Agency that Safiq was alleged to have stolen a bike and GH₵500 (£130) from the compound house where he lives.
Mr Nyamekye said a suspect believed to be in his late 20s was spotted by its owner riding the bicycle in Wapaani, a suburb of Wa. A confrontation ensued in which the suspect admitted he stole the bike and the money.
He said the suspect revealed that he had left the money with another person, named as Hajia, in the T-Junction area of Wa. The bike’s owner took the suspect to the area in search of Hajia, but were unable to locate the alleged recipient of the money.
Mr Nyamekye said this made the owner angry and he raised the alarm, attracting the mob who severely beat the suspect until the police intervened.
The suspect was sent to hospital for treatment, after which he will assist in police investigations.
Mr Nyamekye said the public should not to mete out such treatment to suspects and the police, pointing out that it was against the law and could result in arrest and prosecution.
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.