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Belfast bike thief asks for prison sentence, judge obliges

Liam Joseph Shortt wanted custodial term to help him break out of sprial of addiction and crime

A Belfast bike thief who asked a judge to jail him in a bid to help him break out of a spiral of addiction that had led him to commit crime was obliged by a judge as she sent him to prison for 10 months.

Liam Joseph Shortt pleaded guilty at Belfast Magistrates' Court last week to two counts of bike theft, one attempted bike theft, and stealing clothes from a branch of Next, reports the Irish News.

The court heard that the 22-year-old had stolen one bike worth £600 and another valued at £100 from locations in the Northern Irish capital. He also tried to steal another bike valued at £600.

Sean O'Hare, speaking in mitigation, told the court that Shortt, who has 21 prior convictions for theft, had addiction issues and wanted to be imprisoned.

"He's quite clear and candid that he needs to detoxify and take himself away from the negative influences which have led him here," he explained.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall sentenced him to six months’ imprisonment for the offences that he admitted at the trial.

A previous four-month suspended sentence was also triggered as a result of his re-offending and will be served consecutively.

Simon has been news editor at 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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