Bike theft gang targeted region’s railway stations

Mark Clutterbrook in 2015

Man gives judge the thumbs-up after being sentenced for handling stolen goods

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A TRIO who used the train network to steal bicycles are behind bars.

Sean Barnes, 20, Joey Curry, 19, and Nathan Huitson, 18, were accused of working together to steal more than a dozen bikes from train stations at Park Gate, Swanwick, Fareham, Rowlands Castle, Portchester, Havant, Milford and Haslemere between August 21 and October 10 this year.

Barnes, of The Hillway in Portchester admitted 13 counts of joint theft of bicycles with Curry and Huitson, at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court.

He also admitted one count of carrying a throwing knife in West Street, Portchester on August 5, attempting to steal a bike and going equipped for theft with a pair of bolt croppers, both on August 28 and travelling on a train without paying on February 27.

District judge Anthony Calloway sentenced Barnes to five months for each theft, to run concurrently, with one month, to run consecutively, for the bladed article.

In a separate hearing at the a same court a day earlier, Huitson, of Carlton Road in Portchester entered guilty pleas to 13 counts of joint theft with Curry and Barnes.

Prosecutor Giles Fletcher explained how they used the trains to ride around before picking a station to steal from. He said: ‘There are various different stations, there are 13 different victims.

‘The total value of what the defendant is pleading guilty to is £4,310, and that’s with one of the bike’s values unknown.

‘It would have a great impact on each of those victims. They would have cycled to the station and expected their bikes to be there when they returned home. They have all been caused great distress.’

Committing Huitson to crown court, where he is also awaiting sentencing for a robbery, chairman of the bench Paul Wilkinson said: ‘There was a huge amount of planning, it was over some time and it has affected a lot of people.

‘What a foolish young man.

‘You need to go and stand in a dark corner and think about what you have done.’

None of the bikes has been recovered.

Huitson was remanded in custody until his sentencing for the thefts and the robbery on November 22.

Curry, of Alders Road in Fareham, is already in custody for an unrelated offence and is expected to enter pleas for the bike thefts next month.