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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Man jailed after £12k of stolen bikes found in shed

A MAN at the centre of a criminal operation to transport stolen, high-value bicycles from Barrow to Kent has been sent to prison for a year.

Although Jobey Creegan – formerly of Barrow – was found guilty of six counts of receiving stolen bicycles, police said these may be just a few of those he transported to southern England.

Creegan, 29, was convicted following a jury trial at Barrow Crown Court last week and sentenced on Friday.

He was also found guilty of one count of handling and receiving stolen fishing gear.

Police raided a shed in Romney Marsh, Kent, where Creegan lived, in December 2010 and recovered stolen bikes worth £12,000.

Creegan, who worked for Crown, an awnings, blinds and outdoor furniture company owned by his father in Dover, was sentenced to one year in prison. He is likely to be released on licence after six months.

The shed was jointly owned by Creegan’s father Tony Holman who, Honorary Recorder of Carlisle, Judge Paul Batty QC said, should be investigated for perjury after giving evidence in the trial.

A police investigation into the operation revealed some of the bikes found in the shed had been stolen as long ago as September 2009.

Outside court, investigating officer Detective Constable Alison Jesson, of Barrow CID, compared the shed to a branch of Halford’s.

She said: “There was a big outbuilding and it was full of bikes and bike parts, a lot of them had their serial numbers taken off.”

Others had been re-sprayed or taken apart, she said.

DC Jesson added: “The bikes have been wrecked, they no longer resemble what was stolen.

“At the end of the day we wouldn’t have burglars if we didn’t have handlers. The burglars need an outlet for the goods they steal.

“(The sentence) hopefully sends out a positive message that if you are a handler, it is just as serious as committing the initial crime and you won’t get away with it. I am pleased today, it has been an awful lot of hard work.”

Four bikes belonged to a local cycling enthusiast.

Judge Batty QC told Creegan: “Your father gave evidence on your behalf and I have already indicated he should be investigated for perjury for the evidence he gave.”

Despite Creegan’s previous good character and clean record, a “deterrent sentence” had to be given to set an example, the judge added.

A Proceeds of Crime Act hearing is scheduled to be held in August to recover money that Creegan, of Romney Marsh, Kent, made from selling the bikes.

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