Graphic designer fined €300 for buying 'half-price' stolen bicycle
A GRAPHIC designer who bought a bike in "suspicious" circumstances after seeing it for sale online has been convicted of handling stolen property.
James Byrne (36) paid less than half the bike's value – but was fined €300 at Dublin District Court after a judge ruled he had been reckless about whether or not it was stolen.
The father-of-two, of Cloverhill Road, Ballyfermot, pleaded not guilty to having the stolen Giant OCR bike at Crumlin Children's Hospital and the Spawell car park, Templeogue.
The court heard gardai seized the bike and arrested Byrne after he put it up for sale on Adverts.ie on September 17.
Byrne said in evidence that he bought bicycles, fixed them and sold them on as a hobby and to make extra money using the Adverts.ie site.
He saw a bike advertised and arranged to meet the seller at what he presumed was the man's home in Crumlin behind the hospital.
As he was driving, the seller called and Byrne saw three bicycles against a garden wall, one of which he recognised as the bike he wanted to buy.
He got out and was looking at the bikes when a man approached and asked: "Are you James?" They shook hands and Byrne examined the bike, deciding not to buy it as it needed too much work.
However, the man offered him another bike – the Giant OCR for €400.
He did not want it, but the seller said he needed cash to go to a stag party and cut the price to €200.
Byrne later decided to sell it for €250 to €300.
State Solicitor Rachel Joyce said the "set-up" of the sale of the bike was "suspicious", that Byrne "saw a good bargain", decided to take a chance and was "totally reckless".