Cyclist had drugs and a stolen car stereo

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A MAN who was caught carrying a stolen car stereo and Class B drugs while riding his bike has been spared jail.

Robert Elliott was spoken to by police as he cycled along the road with a black bag in the early hours of January 2.

Officers discovered the 35-year-old, of Warkworth Avenue, South Shields, was carrying an LCD monitor, car stereo, and a quantity of amphetamine and cannabis when he was stopped at around 5.15am.

He claimed he had found the stereo and monitor in a nearby skip, but they had been taken from two cars, parked half a mile away from the defendant’s house.

At South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, Elliott pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and two counts of possessing controlled Class B drugs.

He appeared at Newcastle Crown Court where he was handed a 12-month suspended sentence, 12 months of supervision and made the subject of a drug rehabilitation requirement.

Kevin Wardlaw, prosecuting, told the court that the drugs had been found inside a Kinder Egg and that the defendant ‘admitted they were for his personal use’.

He added that Elliott had racked up 29 convictions between 1994 and 2012 and that his latest crime meant he had breached a conditional discharge.

Defence barrister John Wilkinson said: “His life has been completely blighted by a long-standing abuse of amphetamine and cannabis. He does not have an easy existence.

“The items taken were returned to their rightful owners.”

Sentencing Judge David Wood said: “It is clear you have a considerable problem with drug misuse and it is beginning to affect your mental health.

“You are being offered an opportunity to go back on a drug rehabilitation course.”