A SAUCHIE man has been fined after admitting to the theft of his friend’s motorbike in a "prank" gone wrong.

George Maxwell, of Main Street, appeared at Alloa Sheriff Court last week having previously pleaded guilty to stealing the bike.

However, his lawyer, Jim Savage, told the court that he had made that plea without legal advice as he was unrepresented at the time.

Mr Savage went on to say that the Crown had agreed to set aside the theft charge and instead accept a guilty plea for taking and driving away the vehicle without permission.

The prosecutor said: “On June 24 at around 8am the owner noticed his bike was missing. CCTV showed Maxwell with the bike.

“At 11.30am the bike was found in his back garden. It was then recovered.”

She also told the court that the bike was valued at around £500 was taken from Mar Street, Alloa.

Mr Savage said the 28-year-old had taken the vehicle as a practical joke as he was with friends with the complainer.

He said: “This was a prank. He took the vehicle and was unaware that police had since recovered it. Around five hours later he phoned the complainer to say that it was him that had taken it away.”

He continued: “He accepts that it was a stupid thing to do.”

Maxwell, who is currently unemployed, has a previous non-conviction sentence for shoplifting.

Sheriff David Mackie made no comment to Maxwell as he fined him £80, reduced from £100, payable at a rate of £10 per fortnight.