Police said that if Britain had a French-style “Good Samaritan” law, 22-year-old Adam Lowther would have been charged with failing to render assistance.
An inquest heard how 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. more