A thief who stole £3,500 worth of jewellery belonging to his mum and sister, including his grandma’s wedding ring, sold it to cash converters so he could fund his alcohol addiction.
Robert Fenwick, 40, was caught out when his mum found a Cash Converters receipt in the defendant's room and discovered much of her jewellery collection was missing.
Police visited the shop and were told the defendant had sold 25 items over several months, Stoke on Trent Live reports.
The jewellery was worth a total of £3,500 but some had much greater sentimental value. Now Fenwick has been sentenced to 16 months in prison, suspended for two years, at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.
Prosecutor Elizabeth Power said the defendant moved back in with his mum in March 2020 as he was receiving treatment for alcohol addiction and she would be able to support him. But he later moved back in with her permanently.
Fenwick has been sentenced to 16 months in prison, suspended for two years, at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court
Miss Power said: "Over the years the defendant's mum has collected items of jewellery. But over time she could not find some of her jewellery.
"In August last year she found a ripped up letter in a bag in the defendant's bedroom. It was from Cash Converters. It was addressed to the defendant but it had her address on it. She pieced the letter together and there were details of two charms. She deduced he had sold the charms to Cash Converters to buy more alcohol.
"She went to check her jewellery collection and discovered more items missing including her mother's wedding ring and other gold rings and Pandora bracelets and charms. All had been kept in her bedroom.
"Her daughter went to Cash Converters and saw her mother's diamond ring was listed for sale.
"Police attended Cash Converters and discovered the store had received a number of items from the defendant over several months. He had sold 25 items to them with an estimated value of £3,500."
The defendant attended a voluntary interview and admitted taking the items and selling them to Cash Converters. He said he was 'off his t*** most of the time'. He was withdrawing from alcohol when he took the items and took them to the store to sell to buy alcohol.
In a victim statement the defendant's mum said she felt betrayed. She wanted to help him recover from his alcoholism.
She was ashamed her son could steal from his family. She added: "My mother's wedding ring was taken. It had a great deal of sentimental value to myself."
His sister added: "I will always love him but I do not like the man he has become. I am angry. He knew I would not be able to check on my items as my disability prevents me from going upstairs. He is wasting his life."
Fenwick, of Emsworth Road, Blurton, pleaded guilty to two charges of theft.
Representing himself, Fenwick said he has been 'clean' for two months. He is helping his sister and mum out and added he has apologised to them both. As part of the suspended sentence Fenwick must complete 120 hours unpaid work and a rehabilitation activity requirement for 32 days.