Man banned for life from going within four metres of a bike rack in legal first

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Criminal Behaviour Orders inject scope for creativity in judges’ sentencing


An unrelenting thief has hit the headlines for becoming the first person ever hit with a lifetime ban on going near bike racks.

Plymouth man John Liddicoat has been indefinitely banned from having a bicycle he cannot prove he owns or going within four metres of a bike rack. He is also barred from entering the University of Plymouth — the scene of his crimes — any school, or any college.

Liddicoat faces five years behind bars if he breaches the order. It was made when he was convicted of burglary for taking 20 bottles of wine from his victim’s garage.

The persistent offender — who has a long history of drug addiction — has been jailed for three and a half years. Judge Lawrie commented:

He has a tendency to take anything which is not bolted down.

He told the offender:

You have an appalling record, you are incapable of behaving yourself and you have not learnt your lesson.

Alongside his custodial sentence, the 47 year-old was slammed with a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO), little-known in comparison to its predecessor the infamous Antisocial Behaviour Order (ASBO).

Under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, judges can only make a CBO if the offender engaged in behaviour that caused, or was likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress, and secondly that the court thinks making the order will help prevent the offender from engaging in this behaviour.

The order — that can only be made additionally to a sentence or conditional discharge — is very deterrent-focused, and clearly has a very wide application.

Earlier this month, a man from Chester was forbidden from owning “any power tools, jewellery, electrical goods or games equipment without a valid receipt” for three years. Another was banned from contacting emergency services without a genuine reason, another from entering any Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Debenhams, Morrisons, John Lewis, Homebase or Sainsbury’s.

But Liddicoat is thought to be the first person with a lifetime ban on taking other people’s bikes.


Not Amused

We used to call this tyranny.



… and then you bought a dictionary?



That’s going to be unenforceable. Plenty of buses and taxis travel within four metres of a bike rack on the pavement edge. – so what he goes on a bus and is in breach of a court order? Don’t think so.



My favourite ASBO order ever, for a Lambeth lady of the night read out in court, “Not to expose your public region in public”



This chap banned from handling any metal object more than 1kg in weight!



The persistent offender — who has a long history of drug addiction…

While I don’t have much sympathy for this offender, it seems unlikely that he has a rationale mind when going out stealing to fund his addiction. ie, he is hardly likely to be thinking “Don’t go near that bike, or it’s five years of porridge”, but “I need a fix and I need it fast”.

So, without help with his addiction I can’t see this having much of a deterrent effect.


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