A Bembridge man was so concerned his children were about to be taken away he stole an electric bike from outside a shop in Freshwater, the Isle of Wight Magistrates Court has heard.
43-year-old Richard Wright has been ordered to pay back £1,600 in compensation to the owner of the e-bike, which was stolen on 25th May this year.
The court heard on Tuesday that Wright had been visiting his mother in the West Wight when he got news that his children were being taken into care. In a panic and in an attempt to reach his kids, Wright took the bicycle which was located, unsecured, just outside a fishing tackle shop in the village of Freshwater – despite his children being located in Essex.
A victim impact statement was read out in court by the Crown Prosecution Service, in which the victim said:
“This has had a big impact on me and the rest of the village. We don’t have to worry about this sort of thing here”.
The theft was witnessed by a passerby and captured on CCTV, from which Wright was identified. The 43-year-old, who pleaded guilty to the single charge of theft of a pedal cycle, has previous convictions for burglary in 1998 and robbery in 2005, as well as battery in August of this year.
Defending, Oscar Vincent said his client suffers from mental health issues including anti-social personality disorder and anxiety issues. Mr Vincent said that Richard Wright panicked and foolisly took the bicycle – which was inappropriate to the situation.
The bike is said to have been dumped in an alleyway nearby but has never been recovered.
Unemployed Wright was ordered to pay £1,600 in compensation by Magistrates. He was not ordered to pay any costs or surcharges in order to prioritise the victims compensation.