Youth awaits sentence for stealing Parkinson's sufferer's bike

A 17-year-old boy is to be sentenced in September for stealing a Parkinson's disease sufferer's customised bicycle which was used by its owner in a gruelling charity cycle across the United States.

Parkinson's sufferer David Walsh (aged 45) who lives in Dublin had used the same bicycle to cross America last year. The almost 5,000km coast to coast trek from San Diego to New York, which he had spent a year preparing for, helped raise €6,500 for the Parkinson's Association.

Mr Walsh, who works in La Stampa hotel in Dublin city centre, has become a determined fund raiser, since he learned that he had the debilitating condition about five years ago.

However, his customised Claude Butler type bike, worth €800, was taken when his jeep was broken into in Dublin city centre on August 8 last year and has not been recovered.

Afterwards David called 'Liveline' to see if anyone could help him. Good Samaritan Gary Rooney of Gary’s Cycles in Sligo, understood his situation because his own father had Parkinson’s prior to his death ; he made contact and offered David a brand new bike.

Meanwhile, a Dublin youth has pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children's Court to stealing his bicycle and criminal damage to a window in his jeep, which had been parked at James Joyce Street.

Judge Clare Leonard adjourned sentencing the teenager for stealing Mr Walsh's bike until a date in September for an updated probation report to be obtained. She also directed that he was to make efforts to pay compensation.

He will also face sentencing for stealing a phone worth €200 on Henry Street, on March 23 last, and theft of another mobile phone from a shop in Dublin city-centre, on April 12.

The court heard that the teen thief, who was accompanied to his case by his mother, had started to get into trouble in the past three years. He had been ordered to attend a youth project which helps young people with drug problems but had no co-operated.

The judge also detained him for six weeks and ordered that he was to be on supervised probation for one year for stealing two other bicycles and two more mobile phones, during other thefts in Dublin city centre.

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