Barnstaple man stole bike to ‘visit friends’

09:55 07 April 2014

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

Archant

The 35-year-old said he ‘just saw it there’ and took it so he could cycle to see friends in Bideford and Ilfracombe.

A BARNSTAPLE man admitted drunkenly stealing a women’s mountain bike in the dead of night so he could cycle to see his friends, a court heard.

Charles Courtnage, 35, of Sunflower Road, was walking around Barnstaple at 3am on March 11 looking for cigarette butts to make up a cigarette when he spotted the bike.

He spotted the silver mountain bike, valued at around £100, with its back wheel secured and picked it up, wheeling it back to his house on the front wheel.

Police officers spotted him and question him about the bike, to which he said: “I know it was a little bit naughty but I just saw it there.”

Courtnage, who was unrepresented in court, admitted taking the bike because his friends had moved to Ilfracombe and Bideford and he ‘wanted to visit them’.

“I did have too much to drink,” he told North Devon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

“I was thinking, summer is coming and I was going to ride the bike to see them.”

The owner of the bike has not come forward and it is still in the police’s possession.

Courtnage was given a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge.

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