Blazin' Saddles

Thief ‘thought he could win Tour de France’ on £12,000 stolen bike

Blazin' Saddles

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Leeds's Victoria Quarter shopping centre, left, and Chris Froome's Tour de France-winning bike

A man from Leeds who stole a bike worth £12,000 the day before the Tour de France began did so believing that he was one of the favourites to win the iconic race.

The Yorkshire Post reports that Patrick Chapman admitted to Bradford magistrates court that he'd stolen the bike, which was the same model as used by Chris Froome in his victory last year.

The bike had been on display at the Paul Smith clothing shop in the Victoria Quarter shopping centre.

37-year-old Chapman, who is under the care of a psychiatrist for mental health problems, admitted taking the bike - which has not yet been recovered.

"He was of the view he was a main person in the Tour de France, who was a leading runner in the race," said Sajid Majeed in mitigation.

“He saw the bike and because he thought he was a favourite in the Tour de France, he took it."

Majeed added that Chapman had ridden the bike for a few minutes but hid it in a bush when he saw police. "Ten minutes later he returned and it was gone," Majeed added.

Majeed also told the court that Chapman, "thought the country had been invaded and was trying to fight people off on behalf of his country."

Chapman, who also pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of cannabis, will be sentenced at Leeds Magistrates’ Court when he faces other charges on Tuesday.

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