Serial thief's 'utterly bizarre' decision to steal bike to cycle to probation appointment

Simon Doughty pictured outside Hull Crown Court
-Credit: (Image: Hull Live)


A nightmare neighbour who attacked a man who lived in the same block of flats as him before stealing £150 cash from his wallet has narrowly avoided prison after another mean-spirited theft from a neighbour.

Serial thief Simon Doughty brazenly stole a bicycle from another resident and used it to cycle to an appointment with a probation officer – even though the selfish theft meant that he would be in breach of a suspended prison sentence.

He made an "utterly bizarre" decision to steal the bicycle and his "reckless lapse of logic" meant that he risked being jailed for it, Hull Crown Court heard.

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Doughty, 45, of Newtown Court, off Southcoates Lane, east Hull, admitted theft on December 14 and breaching a 10-month suspended sentence imposed on August 29 last year for assault and theft.

The original incident happened on June 27 last year after Doughty fell out with another resident at Newtown Court. Doughty went round to confront him and, when the man answered the door, Doughty attacked him before stealing about £150 cash from his wallet.

The victim was left traumatised and he later said: "I could not defend myself. I am now scared and do not feel safe in my own home. I am nervous and struggling financially."

Doughty was originally accused of robbery but that charge was dropped and he admitted theft and assault. He claimed after his arrest that he had been defending himself and that there had been tension between himself and the victim.

At the latest hearing, Kimari Storey, prosecuting, said that, on December 14, another neighbour reported that his bicycle, valued at £80, had gone missing from the balcony of his ground-floor flat, which was surrounded by a 4ft wall.

CCTV pictures showed Doughty walk to the rear of the flat, reach over the wall and take the bicycle. "He walked with the bike in the direction of his flat," said Miss Storey.

During police interview, Doughty said: "I wouldn't say I stole it. I did have it. It's in my shed. I used it to go to town on. I didn't steal it to flog or anything."

Doughty claimed that he intended to use the bicycle and then put it back before the owner realised that it was gone. The owner later said that the loss of the bicycle put him in a "sticky situation" because it was his way of getting around if he could not afford the bus.

"This makes me feel like it's not safe to leave my bike around," he said. The man was disappointed that it was a neighbour who had targeted him.

"The item was of substantial value to the victim," said Miss Storey. The loss of it caused "substantial inconvenience" to him. Doughty had convictions for 19 previous offences, 14 of them theft-related.

Michael Forrest, mitigating, said that the bicycle had been recovered. Doughty had shown "remorse and sorrow" for the original offences when the suspended sentence was imposed in August last year.

The latest theft offence was less serious. "Despite the fact that he had a suspended sentence hanging over his head, he made the utterly bizarre decision to take the bike to go to a probation appointment," said Mr Forrest.

"He can't understand his logic. It was a reckless lapse in logic. He was doing rather well on the order."

Doughty again avoided prison after the court narrowly decided that the previous suspended sentence did not need to be activated. He was given a three-month 7pm to 7am curfew, six months' drug rehabilitation and he was ordered to pay £150 costs.

After he left the court building, Doughty – appropriately – rode off on a bicycle.

* Prosecutor Kimari Storey was presenting her first completed sentencing case at the court. She joined Crown Chambers, Hull, as a pupil barrister in October last year.