Bicycle thief attacked owner after he was traced to Leeds Kirkgate Market during a Facebook appeal

A bicycle thief turned violent when he was confronted after being tracked down in a Facebook appeal.

Adam Pitts repeatedly punched the victim in the face during the attack in Leeds Kirkgate Market.

Leeds Crown Court heard Pitts had stolen the victim's bike earlier in the day, on July 8 this year.

Eleanor Mitten, prosecuting, said the victim rode his bike to get a haircut at a barbers on Middleton Park Road.

Kirkgate Market

Ms Mitten said the victim positioned the bike in a place outside the shop where he could keep an eye on it.

Pitts took the bike while the victim was inside the barbers and rode off before he could be stopped.

The man then put out an appeal on Facebook to trace his bike when he got home.

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He received information that the bike could be found in Kirkgate Market.

The victim went to the market where he saw Pitts with the bike.

The defendant became aggressive and attacked the man when he tried to take the bike from him.

He punched him repeatedly before removing the rear wheel of the bike and walking off with it.

The victim suffered cuts to his mouth.

Pitts was arrested in the market on September 2 after he threatened staff at Home restaurant.

Members of staff asked him to move from outside the premises because of the smell from the cannabis joint he was smoking.

Pitts became aggressive towards the workers, saying: "I will smash your teeth in."

Police were called and he was found in possession of cannabis and a cannabis grinder.

Pitts, 28, of St Hildas Crescent, Cross Green, Leeds, pleaded guilty to common assault, theft, threatening behaviour and possessing cannabis.

He has previous convictions for burglary and theft.

Catherine Duffy, mitigating, said Pitts was sorry for his behaviour.

Ms Duffy said Pitts had a troubled childhood and grew up in care.

The barrister said the defendant had the promise of a job in a laundry when released from custody.

Judge Robin Mairs jailed Pitts for 20 weeks, saying: "You set about him and repeatedly punched him to the face. There were multiple blows to the head and body, causing bruising and cuts.

"In an act of utter spite, rather than let him have his bike back, you stole the rear wheel.

Referring to offending at the restaurant, the Judge said: "You were needlessly aggressive and needlessly threatening.

"There is absolutely no cause for this.

"People working in a restaurant trying to earn a day's pay should not have to put up with that."