Man caught selling stolen bike online after owner saw it advertised

Francesco Muro

Andrew Phelan

AN Italian man was caught selling a stolen bicycle by a garda sting operation after the owner saw it advertised online.

Francesco Muro (43) had lost his job with a multinational company in Ireland when he carried out the crime in a "moment of madness".

Muro, of Bishops Orchard House, Tyrellstown, pleaded guilty to handling a stolen €1,050 Giant Defy 3 bicycle and possession of a forged receipt.

The offences happened at Tyrellstown Plaza on May 19 last. Judge David McHugh fined him €200 at Blanchardstown District Court.

Sgt Maria Callaghan said the victim's bicycle was stolen two months earlier and he saw it on an online advertising site.

He arranged to meet the seller outside Lidl.

Gardai intervened and the victim identified the bike from distinctive markings and equipment. Muro had forged a receipt showing that he had bought the bicycle.

The bike was recovered and returned to the owner.

The accused had no previous convictions of any kind.

Muro had worked in "a professional capacity" and was at a low period of his life after having been let go from his job as a compliance analyst for a multinational company, his solicitor Simon Fleming said.

The forged receipt for the bike was not actually produced on the day. Muro was very apologetic for what happened.

"It was a criminal act with considerable pre-meditation," Judge McHugh said.

Muro was from Naples but his life was here now, Mr Fleming said.

"I hope the court will see it as a once-off moment of madness, albeit with an element where there was a bit on conscious thought involved," Mr Fleming said.