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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 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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