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John James Smith used bolt-cutters to steal bikes from railway stations and colleges

A man who admitted stealing 34 bikes worth more than £21,000 in Brighton and Hove and nearby towns has been jailed for 30 months at Lewes Crown Court.

Sussex Police say that John James Smith, aged 32 and of no fixed address, used bolt-cutters to steal bicycles from bike racks at railway stations and educational establishments over the course of a year.

In March this year, he was handed a criminal behaviour order but was caught stealing a bike just three days later.

Smith pleaded guilty to the bike thefts as well as to possession of cannabis and breaching an earlier suspended sentence for stealing a bike.

Sentencing Smith on Friday, Judge Christine Laing QC described his offending as "deliberate, flagrant and repeated."

She continued: "I'm dealing with over 40 offences. You stole bikes that were very important to the people who owned them, either to get them to work or to college –  causing everyone involved stress as well as financial loss."

The court heard that Smith used bolt cutters to steal bikes from BHASVIC college in Dyke Road as well as Brighton, Preston Park and Eastbourne railway stations between June 2017 to and July this year.

PC Andrew Newman of Sussex Police commented: "This was a series of impactive crimes that effected many people.

“Smith stole bikes that were very important to the people who owned them and they were their form of transport of get them to work or to college.

“His actions caused his victims stress and financial loss.

"However, this result a clear message that bike theft can result in a substantial prison sentence," he continued.

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.