Thief avoids jail sentence after stealing cello from Ramsbottom musician
2:43pm Thursday 26th September 2013 in News
A THIEF has avoided jail after he stole a cello from a Ramsbottom musician and tried to sell it.
Sean Lever, aged 30, of St Ann Street, Halliwell, Bolton, snatched the instrument from the car of Gabriella Gharino, after she parked it in Chorley Street, Bolton, earlier this month.
The cello has of sentimental value to Miss Guarino, who bought it with money left to her by her boyfriend, Matthew Tuppen, who died five years ago at the age of 21.
Last week, Bolton Magistrates Court heard that Lever, who has a problem with drugs, had attempted to sell the cello at Cash Converters and Cash Generators but both shops had refused to take it. It was then that Lever decided to dump the instrument.
He also stole a fridge freezer and washing machine from a Bolton house in July and broke into another vehicle in August, stealing £280 in cash.
Defence solicitor Leigh Morgan said: “Before he was interviewed, he drew a diagram of where he had stored the cello and the lady got it back thanks to his full co-operation.”
Miss Guarino, an enterprise youth worker at Bolton Lads and Girls Club, who was reunited with the cello the following day, said in a statement to the court: “I was distraught when I thought I had lost it for good because it was of sentimental value as it had been bought with money left to me by my late boyfirend."
Lever pleaded guilty to three charges of theft and was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for four months, for each offence.
He was ordered to pay £150 compensation to the owner of the fridge freezer and washing machine, £150 to the owner of the vehicle he stole the cash from, andtold to undertake a drugs rehabilitation course.
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