A CYCLIST, apparently repairing a tyre at a roadside late at night, was arrested as police suspected he had been “up to no good”, a court was told.

Minutes earlier a man was seen “skulking about” in a residential cul-de-sac in Sherburn Village, near Durham, late on September 21.

Durham Crown Court heard that he was confronted by a resident in Park House Gardens and claimed to have been seeking a glass of water.

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Police were informed and came across George Henry Quarmby, who seemed to be attempting to fix a flat tyre on his bike, on a road beside the Blacksmith’s Arms in nearby Low Pittington.

Sam Faulks, prosecuting, said he was found to be in possession of a screw driver and arrested.

Quarmby denied a charge of going equipped for burglary, saying he had merely gone for a ride on his bike from his home in nearby Hetton-le-Hole towards Durham, taking a route across fields.

He said he reached a filling station in the suburbs of Durham, before making his way back to Hetton, maintaining his explanation of stopping for water on the return journey while passing through Sherburn Village.

But a jury returned a guilty verdict after a two-day trial.

Judge Christopher Prince adjourned sentence to allow for preparation of a background report on Quarmby, by the Probation Service.

Although Quarmby said he did not want a report to be prepared, Judge Prince said he would adjourn anyway, should the defendant change his mind.

Judge Prince remanded 34-year-old Quarmby, of Langdale Street, Hetton-le-Hole, in custody pending sentence on May 9.