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A cyclist whose bike was stolen outside Lewisham hospital whilst he visited his injured partner has thanked the officer who tracked down the thief, who is now in prison.
Chi Hung Sung, 40, of Rochester, Kent received a call on 16 August 2014 to say that his partner had been taken to A&E after she had hurt her knee in a fall, and in a panic jumped on his bicycle making his way from Shortlands to Lewisham hospital to be by her bedside.
At approximately 18:30hrs Chi left his black felt F95 Sora 2013 Gents road bike (purchased 12 months before) chained to the bike stands at the main entrance of the hospital.
When he returned at 18:45hrs he was somewhat puzzled to find that his bike was gone and had been replaced by an old rusty bike.
He alerted members of staff at Lewisham Hospital and police were called.
PC Christine Barker, who is the police liaison officer for Lewisham Hospital, obtained the CCTV footage. In the footage a man can be seen to leave a bike at the same bike rack. He walked away and subsequently returned. In a very suspicious manner he looked around and took out an object, breaking the chain that had secured the victim's bike, stealing it and making off.
The footage was circulated and as a result, intelligence was received that identified the man as 50-year-old Peter O'Brien.
Officers from Lewisham Central Safer Neighbourhoods team attended his address on Darrell Road, SE22 on Tuesday, 6 January and arrested him. He was taken into custody and charged later that day.
He pleaded guilty at Hammersmith Magistrates’ Court and was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment on Thursday, 5 February for the theft of the cycle.
PC Christine Barker, said: "I am delighted that we were able to trace O'Brien and as a result he was put before the courts where quite rightly he received a custodial sentence. The theft he committed had a huge impact on Chi who was already digesting news that his partner had been taken ill, only to find his bike had been stolen.
“I hope this serves as a warning to any other would-be cycle thieves that we will find you and put you before the courts if you offend anywhere in Lewisham."
Chi Hung Sung, said: "I was absolutely devastated that my bike was stolen that day. It was my pride and joy. I was already upset that my partner had been rushed in to hospital and to come out and find that my bike had been stolen was the worst end to an already awful day. I felt pretty down for weeks afterwards. I also had to find money to purchase a new bike. It was a great loss to me and whilst I have not been reimbursed financially I am so grateful to Christine who thoroughly investigated my crime enabling this man to face prosecution. I hope that it teaches him a lesson and it stops him from reoffending."