AN employee of a motorcycle supplier trusted to deliver three motocross bikes failed to drop them off and instead sold at least two of them to relieve a drug debt, a court heard.

Despite having a previous criminal history, much of it for theft, Kyle Goulding was taken on by motorcycle dealer Callum Wood, who found him to be hard-working.

Durham Crown Court was told Goulding was trusted with keys to premises belonging to Mr Wood and was allowed to stay in a mobile home on the site.

Chris Baker, prosecuting, said Goulding was asked by Mr Wood to deliver three motocross bikes, worth £3,000 each, by van to Leeds, on September 5, 2018.

Mr Baker said as the day went on Mr Wood received anxious calls from the buyer asking where they were.

But he also received a message saying Goulding had been bragging about selling them for £3,000 and threatening to set fire to the van.

The next day the van keys were reported to have been found by a woman on her doorstep.

Mr Baker said Mr Wood went to collect the keys but found the van with what emerged was £1,500 worth of damage.

He later found the defendant working in a local pub and he admitted having stolen and sold the bikes.

Mr Wood was able to recover one of the bikes which he found for sale on eBay, but the other two remain missing.

Goulding was only arrested on November 24 and made denials in interview.

But, appearing before magistrates last month, the 31-year-old defendant, of Seaside Lane, Easington Colliery, admitted a charge of theft and the case was sent to the crown court for sentence.

Reading from a victim statement, Mr Baker said Mr Wood was “clearly upset” having given Goulding a chance to turn his life around and trusted him, despite being aware of his background.

The theft had also affected his business and his standing with his bank, with whom he had only just been allowed to offer customers’ credit.

Duncan McReddie, mitigating, said Goulding has made “considerable efforts” to reform his life since the offence, giving up his drug habit and curbing his drinking, while finding accommodation and permanent employment as a shop fitter.

But, imposing a 14-month prison sentence, Judge James Adkin said Goulding betrayed the trust placed in him by Mr Wood, who “took a huge risk” in giving him a chance of work and a temporary place to live.