Bolsover man jailed

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A BOLSOVER man who cashed another man’s benefit cheque and handled a stolen bike is back behind bars.

Anthony McArdle, whose post is delivered to a communal area within a block of flats, reported that his fortnightly £142 Giro had not arrived on 4th October.

The Department for Work and Pensions informed him that it had been cashed that day at Bolsover post office and staff there said John Towle was responsible.

“He was identified from CCTV too. Police went to his mother’s address to arrest him and, in the kitchen area, was a mountain bike worth £300.

“This was subsequently identified as stolen from a back garden on 30th October,” Becky Mahon, prosecuting, told magistrates at Chesterfield.

Towle (29) told police a friend asked him to cash the Giro and gave him £10 of the proceeds for his trouble. He denied knowing the bike was stolen.

Towle, of no fixed address, admitted fraudulently cashing the cheque and handling a bicycle stolen from James Henderson.

He had a string of previous convictions and, in June, received an 18-week jail term for handling stolen goods, theft and breaching a conditional discharge.

The bench locked him up for a total of 24 weeks.

“He says he didn’t steal the Giro and it was handed to him by a third party who received all the money except £10,” said Bob Sowter, for Towle.

“He was staying briefly at his mother’s address and the bicycle had been left there by an unnamed person. He accepts it was stolen.

“He has been a heroin addict for the last 10 or 12 years and he has been on methadone since Saturday. He is realistic and knows custody is inevitable.”