Hospital bike thief given prison sentence
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A man has been sentenced to 16 weeks in prison for stealing a nurse’s bike from Gloucestershire Royal Hospital during the Covid pandemic.
Michael O’Neill, 46 and of Barnwood Road, Gloucester, pleaded guilty to the theft when he appeared at Cheltenham Magistrates Court on 11 June.
O’Neill, who had been arrested on warrant and taken to the court after failing to appear, was also ordered to pay £155 compensation.
The bike had been left locked up at the hospital’s bike shed at the start of the nurse’s shift on 10 May.
Officers were able to track down the bike the same day and return it to the victim.
Inspector Ed Burn said: “The victim, a nurse had just completed a long shift at Gloucester Royal hospital when she realised her bike had been stolen. This was during the height of Coronavirus and the lockdown.
“This is an appalling crime against an emergency worker, caring for people during the pandemic. I would like to thank the community who worked with police to swiftly identify the thief, allowing police to return the bike to the victim and arrest Michael O’Neill.
“I welcome the sentence handed down to O’Neill; it sends out a strong message that criminality will be punished as we strive for a safer Gloucestershire.”