Shaun Wright, 32, of Rangoon Road, Hylton Red House, Sunderland, swiped the cycle from McDonald’s at Roker Retail Park on Sunday, June 14.
The bike was quickly recovered but District Judge Kathryn Meek said the man ‘was using his bike for work to earn money legitimately and properly’ and said the theft would have still caused anxiety to the victim.
Wright pleaded guilty to theft when he was brought before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court and also to being in possession of Class B drug spice on November 9.
His defence solicitor Gerry Armstrong asked the court to to take into account that he has been in custody overnight in a police cell since committing the offence the day before.
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He added: “He finds himself back before the court, he was released just about a year ago.”
The court was told Wright’s actions in taking the bike likely caused his victim initial anxiety as to if he would get it back.
It was said he had slipped back into crime after working well with the Probation Service after previous offending.
In fact, he enjoyed the experience so much he wanted to remain under its supervision, District Judge Kathryn Meek heard.
The judge said Wright did not get to pick and choose how he was dealt with by the justice system and his approach to managing his offending was not sensible.
She said: “This is really quite a mean offence. This man was using his bike for work to earn money legitimately and properly.
“He got it back, but he may not have known that he would get it back.”
Judge Meek added: “You don’t get to pick and choose how you get dealt with by a court.”
However, she handed Wright a 12-month community order with a requirement to carry out 15 days of rehabilitation work with the Probation Service.
He was also fined £50 and must pay a £90 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.
The court heard the financial penalties will be added to the £2,471 Wright currently owes for past misdemeanours.