Man who tried to steal victim's motorbike at traffic lights avoids jail

Ipswich crown court with road sign

Wayne McGeorge received a suspended sentence at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A man who tried to steal a motorbike from its owner at traffic lights in Ipswich has been handed a suspended sentence. 

Wayne McGeorge, 37, was riding a bicycle when he cut in front of a man on a motorbike at traffic lights on St Helen's Street on July 19, 2019, around 1.30pm, Ipswich Crown Court heard. 

The lights were red and the victim could see McGeorge was speaking but couldn't hear what was being said, Caroline Milroy, prosecuting, told the court. 

The man did hear McGeorge shout: "KTM" - the make of the motorcycle - before he positioned his bicycle in front of the motorbike. 

A tussle ensued and McGeorge grabbed the man's motorbike and tried to wrench the GoPro camera from the man's helmet. 

McGeorge shouted: "Get off the bike", and the victim was struggling to balance as the scuffle continued. 

The man said McGeorge was acting "very aggressively" and he was very scared for his safety. 

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The motorcycle rider was eventually able to escape and had to go through a red light to get away, Ms Milroy said. 

However, when he stopped at another red light, he turned to see McGeorge chasing him on his bicycle. 

The victim felt McGeorge was chasing him and was scared he was going to steal the motorbike, which was worth in the region of £3,500. 

He once again rode off and police were contacted. 

CCTV footage was obtained and McGeorge was identified in February 2020. 

In police interview, he denied attempting to steal the motorbike and initially pleaded not guilty to attempted robbery before magistrates in May 2021. 

However, McGeorge, of Bishop Road, Colchester, changed his plea to guilty at a plea and trial preparation hearing in October 2021. 

The court heard McGeorge has "extensive" previous convictions. 

Daniel O'Malley, representing McGeorge, said much of his client's previous offending had been down to drug misuse and mental health difficulties. 

Mr O'Malley said McGeorge was now clean of drugs and had been praised by the Probation Service and his doctor for his efforts. 

Judge Emma Peters handed McGeorge 18 months' imprisonment, suspended for two years, and reserved any breaches to herself. 

He was also ordered to undertake 180 hours of unpaid work and 40 rehabilitation activity requirement days. 

McGeorge must also pay £300 in compensation to the victim and £670 in court costs. 

The judge told McGeorge: "Let me be very clear, if you breach, the consequences will be very serious."