A man who appeared in court on a charge relating to bike theft got little sympathy when he revealed that his own bike had been stolen that very morning – something the judge described as “poetic justice.”
Declan Martin, aged 41, was riding his bike past a police station in Dublin in April this year and pushing another one when he was spotted by an officer who was coming out of the building, reports Independent.ie.
Garda Niall Kenny stopped Martin outside Pearse Street Garda Station since he wanted to know where he was going and was "not satisfied he was the owner" of the bike that he was pushing along.
It transpired that the bike had been stolen a week earlier on O’Connell Street, where its owner had locked it up.
Admitting a charge of handling stolen property, Martin told Dublin District Court that he had not stolen the bike, worth €1,000, himself but had accepted it as collateral to a €40 loan he had made to someone.
His lawyer told the court, “He accepts it was very reckless."
A fire around four years ago had left Martin with reduced lung capacity and suffering from pleurisy and emphysema, leading Judge Conal Gibbons to observe that he found it hard to believe the accused could cycle at all.
He went on: "It is nigh on impossible to protect a pushbike in Dublin.
"It's a shocking state of affairs that you can't leave a bike by the side of the road in Dublin. You have to wrap it up in chains and even a bike that was secured in this way was still stolen by somebody and delivered to the accused."
Martin said, "My own one was stolen this morning,” to which Judge Gibbons replied, "You have often heard of the expression poetic justice. There is a touch of poetic justice in this."
Sentencing Martin, the judge handed down an eight-month jail term, suspended for one year.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.