A MAN stole a bicycle because he thought the owner was involved in a relationship with his ex-partner.

Blackburn magistrates heard having driven off with the bike in the back of his van John Michael Swindlehurst then threw it away.

Swindlehurst, 48, of Dalton Street, Burnley, pleaded guilty to theft of a £400 pedal bike belonging to Luke Robinson. He was ordered to pay £400 compensation and £85 costs.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said Mr Robinson knew the defendant because a friend of his was Swindlehurst's ex-partner.

He was at his brother's house when he saw Swindlehurst outside and shortly after realised his bike was missing.

Catherine Fell, defending, said there had been previous "banter" between the two men.

"He put the bike in the back of his van and drove off but shortly after got rid of it," said Miss Fell.

"He has been out of trouble for seven years and regrets committing this offence."