A coroner has condemned a “cowardly and callous” thief who saw a man drowning in a canal but – instead of stopping to help – stole his bicycle…
An inquest heard how Adam Lowther was cycling along a towpath by the Leeds-Liverpool canal on July 30 last year when he saw 51-year-old Michael Houghton, lying face-down in shallow water. Seeing the retired businessman’s mountain bike beside the water, he decided to swap it for his own, which he claimed had a puncture, Leeds Coroner’s Court heard.
Even though he could see Mr Houghton lying in the water, he hid his own bicycle in some bushes nearby, and rode Mr Houghton’s home. He then searched on the internet to find out how much the £150 bicycle was worth but pawned it for just £20…
About 10 minutes after Lowther left the scene, James Atkinson, a cyclist, and William Bentall, a jogger, pulled Mr Houghton out of the water, raised the alarm and administered first aid until paramedics arrived.
He airlifted to hospital but died three days later.
The inquest heard that Mr Houghton, a father of three, had taken early retirement from his successful business and banking career two years earlier to care for his disabled wife. He was on a regular cycle ride from his home in Horsforth, West Yorks, into Leeds, when he is thought to have come off his bicycle and fallen into the water…
Lowther claimed that he did nothing to help because he assumed Mr Houghton was already dead…“I had nothing to hide … all I did was take the bike.”
He added: “I’m not a thief, I found a push bike, I didn’t see the body in the water until I had got on the bike…”
What a scumball! He’s already done a few months for stealing the bike. The coroner’s inquest couldn’t legally find anything else to charge him with – lacking a Good Samaritan Law.
I’d put him in the stocks on the town square.