A MAN has been fined £200 after taking a stolen bike while drunk.
Ronald Motlhokodise, from Attlee House in Lansbury Road, Broadfield, appeared at Crawley Magistrates' Court last Wednesday charged with handling stolen goods.
The red BMX, valued at £250, was stolen on July 31 and police initially accused Motlhokodise of taking it.
But he was eventually charged with handling stolen goods, after telling police he had been offered the bike by a stranger.
David Holman, prosecuting, said: "A paperboy left the bike for a matter of minutes while on his round at 7.30am.
"When he returned the bike was gone. He looked but couldn't find it.
"Police carried out house to house enquiries and eventually the BMX was found at the address the defendant was at."
Tim Leete, mitigating, said 20-year-old Motlhokodise, who pleaded guilty to the charge, had not been thinking straight.
He explained: "He accepts he was drunk at the time and had been out all night with friends.
"He had gone out to a garage to get more alcohol for the group when he was approached by a man who offered him the bike.
"Clearly, because he had been drinking, his logic was impaired.
"He cycled the bike back, left it in the hallway and he had no further use for it."
The bike was recovered without any damage.
District judge William Ashworth fined Motlhokodise £200, and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.