A FATHER-of-one caught pushing a stolen bicycle past a Dublin garda station had his own bike taken on the morning he was due in court in a moment of "poetic justice", a judge said.
Declan Martin (41) had been cycling his own bike while pushing the stolen one despite suffering from reduced lung capacity, when he caught the attention of a garda.
Dublin District Court heard he had not stolen the bicycle but accepted it as "collateral on a loan" and was bringing it home when he was caught.
He locked his own bike up before his court case but someone else stole that.
Judge Conal Gibbons gave him an eight-month suspended sentence.
Martin, a father-of-one with an address at Markievicz House, Dublin 2 pleaded guilty to handling stolen property at Pearse Street on April 1 last.
Garda Niall Kenny told the court he was leaving Pearse Street Garda Station when he saw the accused cycling one bicycle while pushing the other alongside him.
The garda stopped him because he was curious as to where he was going and was "not satisfied he was the owner" of the second bike.
When questioned, Martin told the garda that he had paid €40 for the bicycle, which was worth €1,000, on O'Connell Street.
On checking, it was established that the bike had been stolen a week earlier on O'Connell Street, where it had been locked up.
Martin had given a loan of €40 to a man and took the bike as "collateral".
"He accepts it was very reckless," his lawyer said.
The accused had been in a fire around four years ago and was left suffering from Pleurisy and Emphysema.
Judge Gibbons said it was a wonder Martin had been able to cycle anything, let alone two bikes at once.
"It is nigh on impossible to protect a pushbike in Dublin," he remarked.
"It's a shocking state of affairs that you can't leave a bike by the side of the road in Dublin. You have to wrap it up in chains and even a bike that was secured in this way was still stolen by somebody and delivered to the accused."
"My own one was stolen this morning," the accused said.
The judge replied: "You have often heard of the expression poetic justice. There is a touch of poetic justice in this."
He suspended the sentence for a year.