Banbury thief sentenced after selling £2,700 stolen bike for £80

Cyclist Tom Chandler at the Scottish championships EMN-180124-113118002
Cyclist Tom Chandler at the Scottish championships EMN-180124-113118002

A Banbury man was spared jail after admitting to stealing a young track cyclists’ bicycle worth £2,700 off a train and selling it for £80.

Paul Clarke pleaded guilty to taking Tom Chandler’s specialist bike as the train they were on stopped at Banbury railway station on January 16.

Tom Chandler's bike which was stolen from a train when it stopped at Banbury. Photo: British Transport Police EMN-180124-113013002

Tom Chandler's bike which was stolen from a train when it stopped at Banbury. Photo: British Transport Police EMN-180124-113013002

The 36-year-old, of Rotary Way, was sentenced at Oxfordshire Magistrates’ Court on April 18, to eight weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay fines and compensation totalling £790.

Mr Chandler was travelling on board a Cross Country train service from Reading with his racing bike stored in the dedicated cycle rack .

As the train arrived at Banbury station, Clarke then tampered with the cycle racks, removing the racing bike from the train.

The victim then saw a man pushing the bike along the platform as the train pulled away from the station.

After a thorough investigation by British Transport Police officers, CCTV images were able to identify Clarke with the bike inside the station at the time of offence.

Clarke was later questioned by officers and admitted to the offence and further admitted to selling the bike onwards for a fee of £80.

The victim’s bike is yet to be located which he uses for indoor cycling – he has previously broken the Scottish 4km record and won the Scottish 1km championships.

Anyone who has information regarding the whereabouts of the bike is asked to contact BTP by sending a text to 61016 or by calling 0800 40 50 40.