Crashed biker had taken drugs

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court

A man taken to hospital after being found by the side of a crashed stolen motorbike told medical staff: “I thought I was here because I’d OD’d.”

Heroin addict Shaun Atkins of Withington Lane in Aspull was wearing a full-face crash helmet and discovered lying next to the smoking scooter, which had a forced ignition switch and had been written off in the crash.

But he later claimed to have no recollection of how he came to be riding the machine or wearing the helmet, prosecutor Shazia Aslam told Wigan and Leigh magistrates.

He later admitted taking diazepam and a heroin “speedball” shortly before he was found dazed and confused, by a startled dog-walker.

Atkins, who has a long criminal record for theft to fuel his drugs habit, pleaded guilty to six counts of shop lifting meat and toiletries, aggravating vehicle taking and writing off the £1,500 scooter, breaching a perviosuly imposed criminal behaviour order and breaching the terms of an existing community order.

Miss Aslam said that Atkins had 57 convictions from 161 offences: more than 100 of them for theft.

Mark Ferguson, defending, said that Atkins was plagued by the scourge of heroin.

And the shoplifting spree that he had engaged in was driven by the need to sell the stolen goods for cash with which to buy illegal drugs.

He had stopped using illegal drugs for a period after being put on a prescription by drugs rehabilitation authorities.

But had turned back to buying on the street because it hadn’t proved sufficient to satiate his craving.

Mr Ferguson said: “Like many drugs users, sadly, his life has become more and more chaotic. He tells me he doesn’t remember anything at all about how he came to be found lying next to the scooter while wearing a crash helmet.”

Atkins was sent to jail for six months, was disqualified from riding motorcycles for 12 months and must pay £115 victim surcharge.

No order was made for a contribution to the costs of prosecution.