A MAN who claimed he bought a mountain bike worth thousands of pounds from a person he met at the West Strand in Portrush was later caught trying to board a ferry to Scotland, a court heard.
Ross Lough (21), of Rathmore Drive in Newtownabbey’s Rathcoole area, appeared at Coleraine Magistates Court on Monday and admitted a charge of handling stolen goods – one Stumpjumper bike – relating to August this year.
A prosecutor said two mountain bikes – each worth £5,500 – were stolen from a rack on a vehicle in Portballintrae.
The owner provided details of the bikes to police and the defendant was then detected at Larne with one bike on his way to Scotland.
A defence barrister said the defendant had some knowledge of bikes which he fixes and buys and sells, and he bought the bike from a person at the promenade at West Strand for £300.
The lawyer said Lough carried out a search on a ‘bike checker’ site and put in a code and it had not come up as stolen.
The defendant had then advertised it on Facebook and was on his way to Scotland and had learned an “expensive lesson” as he was out the cost of the ferry and had also spent some money adding a water bottle and a light.
District Judge Peter King repeated the defence lawyer’s comment that very often if something seems too good to be true it probably is.
With the defendant’s knowledge of bicycles he said buying a bike worth more than £5,000 for £300 should have had “alarm bells ringing”.
Fining the defendant £350 the judge said he was prepared to put the case “down to pound signs as opposed to dishonesty”.