Shop window smashed after bike goes missing

A GROUNDWORKER who smashed a shop window in anger after his £2,500 mountain bike was stolen has been spared an immediate jail sentence by a judge.

Lincoln Crown Court heard Heath Murdoch 43, of Waverley Court, Queen Street used a hammer to break the glass of Something Special card shop on July 30 last year after going to look for the thieves who took his cycle.

Murdoch admitted taking the hammer and a lock knife with him for his own protection after the bike went missing from near his flat.

Phil Howes, prosecuting, said Murdoch caused damage estimated at £550 when he smashed the laminated safety glass of the card shop in his frustration.

Mr Howes told the court when police traced Murdoch to his flat he had the lock knife in his pocket and a small amount of cannabis.

Mr Howes said: “He never took the knife out or used it to threaten anybody.”

The court heard Murdoch had received a 12-month community order for a previous offence of possessing a lock knife in a public place in 2010.

Gordon Aspden, defending, told the court Murdoch had been taking steps to reduce his drinking after losing his temper on this occasion.

Mr Aspden said: “Mr Murdoch is somebody that enjoys mountain biking in Cumbria and Derbyshire. This was not simply a bike, but his pride and joy for which he paid £2,500.

“He is a hard-working man who over the Christmas period went to visit his parents and did not drink for four days.”

Murdoch, of Waverley Court, Market Rasen, admitted having a bladed article, criminal damage, having an offensive weapon and possessing cannabis.

He was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment, suspended for a year, and was given a 12-month community order and told to pay compensation of £550 to the shop.

Passing sentence Judge Sean Morris told him: “I can entirely understand your frustration and anger at having your expensive mountain bike stolen, but you can’t take the law into your own hands.

“It is a good job you did not find these thieves.”