Gloucester man who stole nurse's bike from hospital jailed
A man has been sentenced to 16 weeks in prison for stealing a nurse's bicycle from Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.
Michael O'Neill, 46, of Barnwood Road, Gloucester, pleaded guilty to the theft at Cheltenham Magistrates' Court.
The nurse discovered her bicycle had been stolen from the hospital's bike shed after working a shift on 10 May.
"This is an appalling crime against an emergency worker caring for people during the pandemic," said Insp Ed Burn.
He added: "The nurse had just completed a long shift at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. This was during the height of coronavirus and the lockdown.
"I would like to thank the community who worked with police to swiftly identify the thief, allowing police to return the bike to the victim."
O'Neill was also ordered to pay £155 compensation.
Police received several reports about bikes being stolen from the hospital at the beginning of May, with a road bike worth £500, a second bike worth £1,200 and an electric bike worth £1,000 all being taken within the space of a week.
However, police said that bike thefts across Gloucester had fallen considerably this year.
Between 23 March and 4 June there were 32 bike thefts in the city, down from 73 in the same period last year and 77 in 2018.
Police community support officers have been working with the hospital to advise on security and hold bike-marking events.
Social enterprise the Glos Bike Project has donated about 100 new and refurbished bikes to NHS staff and key workers during lockdown.
Project co-ordinator Maureen Parker said they had heard about NHS workers bikes being stolen since starting their scheme in mid-March.
"We've replaced bikes for a doctor, nurses, and a couple of supermarket workers who had their bikes stolen while at work," she said.