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“Poetic justice” – man in court on bike theft charge has own bike stolen

Declan Martin was spotted by Dublin police officer riding one bike and pushing another

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.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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