Portsmouth robber jailed after stealing £60 bike from homeless man 

Kevin Batchelor, 23, of Arundel Street, Landport was jailed for robbing a homeless man of a 60 bike in North End
Kevin Batchelor, 23, of Arundel Street, Landport was jailed for robbing a homeless man of a 60 bike in North End

A HOMELESS man was left shaking and terrified after he was robbed of his £60 bike – one of his few possessions.

High on synthetic cannabis, Kevin Batchelor started shouting at the unsuspecting victim who was riding his black Carrera bike near the Sainsbury’s store in London Road, North End, at about 8.45am.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard how a shouting Batchelor, 23, who was heavily smoking the illicit drug Spice, said: ‘Stop, that’s my bike, stop or I’ll smash your head in.’

Unlucky victim Mark Brown was unable to ride away fast enough, prosecutor Simon Jones told the court, and added: ‘He just felt he wouldn’t stand a chance of getting away and was worried if he didn’t stop he would be assaulted.’

Batchelor, who has 42 convictions for 101 offences and has shaved his head since he was photographed, insisted the bike was his before flipping it over, grabbing it and riding off heading south.

In a statement read in court, Mr Brown said: ‘I’m currently homeless, don’t have many possessions and feel I’ve lost one of the only possessions I own.

‘That bike is my way of travelling round the city and getting to appointments. It’s also the way I carry my sleeping bag.’

He added: ‘I feel very vulnerable and exposed. I feel this incident will have a lasting effect on me.’

The defendant, of Arundel Street, Landport, admitted robbery on Monday after initially denying the charge earlier in the day.

Judge William Ashworth handed him 16 months in jail – with a longer spell behind bars due to his lengthy list of previous convictions and because he was on licence at the time of the robbery on November 19.

Sentencing, judge Ashworth said: ‘You accused somebody else of stealing the bike – in fact it was his bike and really his main possession. 

‘You decided the bike was yours although at the time you were smoking spice.’

The judge added: ‘What you appear to do is normalise violence as a way of getting what you want and appear to normalise taking other people’s possessions as a way of getting what you want. The response to that must be a custodial sentence.’

The court heard Batchelor’s mother died when he was six and he had been in care shortly after then. He hopes to leave Portsmouth and reform when he comes out of jail, the judge was told.