Prolific criminal jailed for Sunderland bicycle theft

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Image source, Northumbria Police
Image caption,
Police said Smith had "consistently shown he cannot be trusted to live in a lawful society"

A serial criminal who deliberately drove at a cyclist before his passenger stole the bike has been jailed.

The victim was targeted by Robert Friendship Smith and his accomplice in Sunderland in May.

They told him they had a machete and fearing for his life he handed over the £4,000 electric bike.

Smith, 25 and of West Lea, Houghton-le-Spring, admitted robbery at an earlier hearing at Newcastle Crown Court and has now been jailed for 45 months.

The court heard that as the victim cycled down an alley in the Roker Avenue area Smith pulled out and crashed a white Vauxhall Insignia into the bike.

Smith and the front-seat passenger then jumped out and threatened him, with the latter riding off on the bike while Smith drove away.

Smith, who had 28 previous convictions for 60 offences, was arrested after being recognised on CCTV.

Det Con Melissa Mcleod, of Northumbria Police, said: "He and his accomplice showed a total disregard for the welfare of their victim, driving his car directly at the cyclist before making threats and stealing his bike.

"Smith has had every opportunity to clean up his act - but has consistently shown he cannot be trusted to live in a lawful society.

"I hope he uses this time behind bars to think carefully about how his actions can have a detrimental effect on his community."

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