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Cyclist jailed after stealing thousands of pounds from his coach, aged 86

Money Daniel Snape fleeced from Harold 'H' Nelson went on gambling - and a £2,000 Trek road bike...

A Manchester cyclist has been jailed for eight months after stealing more than £6,000 from his coach – spending some of the money on a new bike.

Daniel Snape, aged 32 and described by the Manchester Evening News as “a well-known rider on the city’s amateur scene” stole a total of £6,650 from Harold ‘H’ Nelson, aged 86.

He spent £2,000 on a Trek bike and also bought cycling gear, but much of the money went on gambling on horse racing and football, says the newspaper.

Mr Nelson coached cyclists including former Motorola rider Paul Sherwen and 1982 national road champion John Herety, now manager of JLT-Condor, and was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to cycling.

Since the early 50s, he has coached Olympians, Tour de France riders including Paul Sherwen and John Herety, and hundreds of amateurs for free.

Simone Flynn, prosecuting, said that in May 2012, by which time Mr Nelson had been coaching Snape for three years, the latter asked him for a loan, the first of five he would be given with the maximum being £300.

Snape, from Wythenshawe, changed the amount on that cheque and subsequently took blank ones from Mr Nelson, whose bank became suspicious about the activity on his account.

According to the prosecution, the Trek bike showed that Snape, who worked as a warehouseman, was “living beyond his means.”

He was arrested last year after another coach reported him when he did not return the money he had taken from Mr Nelson.

Snape was arrested last summer, after another cycling coach reported him following his failure to repay what he stole from Mr Nelson, who said in a statement that his actions had “breached the trust between student and coach.”

He added: “I’ve been coaching cyclists from my home for many years and thousands of cyclists have passed through - nothing has ever been stolen from me and no-one has ever let me down like this.”

Describing Snape as a “lonely figure” and a heavy gambler, Ben Kaufman said his client was “deeply sorry.”

He added that Snape ”still has a deep affection for Mr Nelson - he looks back at his time with the cycling club as the happiest of his life.”

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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