A THIEF went on a bike-stealing spree in a “moment of madness”.
Gary Mullaney snatched bikes worth hundreds of pounds from Sunderland city centre in one day.
He pleaded guilty to stealing a Carrera racing cycle, worth £500, at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court.
The 40-year-old, from Grindon in Sunderland, asked for three similar offences to be taken into consideration.
Glenda Beck, prosecuting, told the court the thefts all took place on November 22.
Mrs Beck said: “He sold one bike to Cash Converters, gave one away to a friend and one was recovered by police.
“One has not been accounted for.
“He was arrested and made full admissions.
“He said he cut through the bike chains and rode off.”
A statement was read out to the court from the owner of the racing bike.
It said: “I feel bad because my belongings have been taken away.”
The court heard that one of the bike owners was left £15 out of pocket, for the cost of a new lock.
Another forked out £65 to replace their bike and £15 for its lock.
Cash Converters asked for £40 compensation, and the missing bike was valued at £180. Magistrates heard Mullaney, of Gravesend Road, had 30 previous convictions, including a two-year prison sentence for burglary.
He was also given a two-year community order in July 2010 for theft from a motor vehicle.
Representing himself, he told the court: “I have not been in trouble for three years.
“I have never stolen bikes in my life.
“It was a moment of madness, for a day. I did not try to hide it.”
Mullaney also disputed that the final bike was still missing.
He added: “The girl says one of the bikes has not been recovered, but it has been.”
Magistrates adjourned the case for pre-sentence reports.