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Cyclist took photos of York bike thief James Hughes
A BIKE thief spent nearly five months in jail after he threatened a public-spirited cyclist.
James Martin Hughes was cutting the lock of a ladies’ bike with bolt croppers when the owner of another bike parked nearby confronted him, said Zaiban Alam, prosecuting at York Crown Court.
As the thief removed the cut lock from around the bike, the cyclist put his hand on the ladies’ bicycle and told Hughes not to take it, but Hughes threatened him until he took his hand off.
He then took pictures on his mobile phone of Hughes and the bike as the thief rode off on it.
Police used them to identify Hughes and arrested him three hours later at York Railway Station.
Hughes, 38, of no fixed address, was remanded in custody charged with robbery.
On the day he was due to stand trial, the prosecution accepted guilty pleas to alternative charges of theft and threatening behaviour.
He was given a 56-day prison sentence.
Recorder Tahir Khan took into account the time he had spent behind bars since his arrest, including a ten-week sentence for assault.
The judge said the cyclist’s conduct was “notable”.
Miss Alam said the cyclist was working in a city centre store at 4.30pm when a customer alerted staff to Hughes’ activities.
He went out to check his own bike and caught Hughes stealing the ladies’ bike.
Defence barrister Taryn Turner said Hughes had been drinking before he stole the bike, which he sold for £10.
The theft was at a time when he was also using drugs, but he had come off drugs while in prison and used the time to gain a qualification as a bricklayer.
“He will be leaving custody in a better frame of mind and a better state of health,” said Mrs Turner.