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Cyclist fined after attaching petrol engine to bike to help him ride up steep hills

The rider's lawyer said the man had 'some difficulties' riding uphill...

A cyclist has been fined after he attached a petrol engine to his bike to help him get up steep hills. 

Lee Middleton, 37, admitted to using a motor vehicle without insurance, driving a vehicle without a licence and riding a motorcycle on a road without protective headgear at Teesside Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

Teeside Live report that Middleton was stopped by police officers on January 11 after hearing a 'loud pitched engine noise'. 

Middleton had fitted the bike with a small petrol engine to help him manage the steep gradients in his local area.

However, he was told that his modifications meant the bike was now classed as a motor vehicle and therefore required a licence, insurance and a helmet. 

An engine powered by a petrol tank was moving the rear wheel, justices were told.

Paul Dixon, mitigating, said Middleton 'has some difficulties' getting up and down a steep hill on his bike, and the engine was designed to assist him when he was caught by an officer in Errington Street.

He said: "The engine is such a small engine it assists a little bit going up hills but would not take you to any great speed. 

"The offence was committed out of ignorance of the law."

Magistrates sentenced Middleton, of Brotton, to a £120 fine, £34 victim surcharge and £85 costs - a total of £239.

He was also handed eight penalty points.

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