A BICYCLE thief who was injured when he crashed into a taxi as he fled gardai believed he had the right of way at the time of the collision, a court heard.
William Sheridan (36) damaged the taxi and bike, as well as suffering hand and shoulder injuries when he slammed into the cab as he pedalled away from the pursuing gardai in Dublin city centre.
A judge jailed him for four months.
Sheridan, a father-of-two, initially contested a criminal damage case because he believed the cab had been travelling against the flow of traffic.
However, he changed his plea to guilty when he saw maps, visited the scene and realised he was in the wrong.
Sheridan, of Rory O'Connor House, Hardwicke Street, admitted unauthorised taking of a bicycle and two counts of criminal damage in the incident in the south of the city.
Dublin District Court heard he had been cycling at the time when he saw the bike which he "liked better than his own" and took it.
Garda Thomas O'Malley told the court he was on duty on January 19 when he attended a call at South William Street that a man was seen stealing a bicycle. He saw Sheridan cycling towards him to the junction with Exchequer Street. He failed to stop for the garda and cycled on the footpath in the direction of George's Street.
Sheridan was pursued on foot and as he reached the junction with Drury Street, he collided with a taxi turning right.
He hit the rear driver's side, came off the bike, and was arrested. The cost of the damage to the bike was over €200 – the taxi had not been repaired yet but would cost €488.
Sheridan had been under the influence of alcohol and his recollection was clouded by that, his solicitor Aine Flynn said. He had been in Pearse Street visiting his girlfriend, was making his way home and saw a bike in Temple Bar that he "liked better than his own". He took it and left his own bicycle there.
His recollection had been "different" and he had thought he had the right of way.
When provided with a map and when he went to the scene he satisfied himself that this was not the case.
He now accepted responsibility for the damage.
Sheridan had suffered injuries to his wrist, thumb and shoulder in the crash. Sheridan had four previous convictions for offences including unauthorised taking of a pedal cycle.
"It's totally unsatisfactory," Judge Victor Blake said. "He had enough money to go drinking on that night".
He imposed consecutive three and one-month sentences and fined Sheridan €150.