A DRUG addict stole a bike by riding it out of a sport store so he could repay his debt to a dealer.
Gavin Malcolm got into the saddle of the £349 bike in Peterlee’s Sports World after taking out a credit card and asking a shop assistant if he could buy one of the bikes.
Durham Crown Court heard he told the worker he wanted the ready-assembled display bike, rather than one in a box, and while she was dealing with another customer, he rode it out the door.
He was soon arrested by police, but told officers he had already handed over the bike to pay off the £150 debt.
The 25-year-old, from Grisedale Road, Peterlee, entered a guilty plea to the theft, which happened on November 22.
He asked for the theft of three Annabell dolls, worth a total of £135 and stolen in the course of two visits to Argos, to be taken into consideration.
Judge Colin Burns said: “It seems to me that stealing a bike, as well as it being a high value bike from this shop, is not the sort of offence that should cause a court to say ‘enough is enough, you should go to prison’ but you are approaching that if you continue to offend you will be going back to prison.
“The only thing I can do is proceed for the moment with the plan to try and educate you and get you off the need to take drugs.”
Malcolm was given a 12-month rehabilitation requirement with supervision and a 8pm to 7am curfew for six months.