A MAN caught with cannabis and a grinder after stealing a bike from outside a Herefordshire factory has been fined.

Keith James Belson, 50, of The Black Swan Hotel, Leominster, admitted both offences when he appeared before magistrates in Hereford on July 29.

Jo Tait, prosecuting, said Belson had stolen the bike from outside the BPI factory in Worcester Road, Leominster in the early hours of July 12.

The bike had been left unlocked in the factory bike shed by owner Adam Williams.

“At around 1.30am, a colleague told Mr Williams that he had seen a man riding it, and Keith Belson was identified as the thief,” Miss Tait said.

Belson was spotted by police riding a different bike on July 14.

Officers stopped him and searched him, finding a cannabis grinder with some cannabis in it.

Marilena Di Vitantonio, for Belson, said he had taken the bike believing it had been abandoned.

“It was not locked up and he felt it did not have an owner, but instead of taking it to the police station, he used it for himself.

“He has smoked cannabis for a number of years."

The court heard the bike had not been returned to Mr Williams, as it had been further stolen from Belson by another person.

Magistrates fined Belson a total of £100, and ordered him to pay £250 compensation to Mr Williams. No costs order or victim surcharge was imposed due to a lack of means.