Darwen jewellery theft was ‘despicable’
A 23-YEAR-OLD man stole irreplaceable jewellery from a woman who had provided a roof over his head.
Blackburn magistrates heard John McCartney stole the items, including her grandmother’s wedding band, to feed a cannabis habit.
Magistrates chairman Jan Alcock called his actions “despicable”.
“No amount of financial compensation will bring back this jewellery,” she said after hearing that the stolen items had been sold to Cash Converters and sent away to be melted down.
“All you were bothered about was raising money to buy cannabis to rot your brain even further.
“We would like to make you pay back the full value of the jewellery, breaking stones on the road if you had to pay for it, but unfortunately that is not an option for us,” she added.
“Sending you to prison immediately would not help anyone and would cost the tax payers a great deal of money.”
McCartney, 23, of Ellerbeck Road, Darwen, admitted theft from Carol Rushton and was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison suspended for two years, made subject to community supervision for two years and ordered to pay £1,000 compensation.
Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said Miss Rushton had allowed McCartney to stay at her home in Darwen at a time when he had no roof over his head.
“In return, he has stolen items of jewellery on several occasions and sold them to Cash Converter,” said Miss Allan.
“He received just £286 for these items but to Miss Rushton they were priceless. She was distraught on discovering these thefts and the fact that the jewellery, much of it of great sentimental value, can never be recovered.”
Miss Allan said the value of the jewellery was put at £2,977.
Angela Rossi, defending, said her client accepted he had behaved in a despicable manner.
“He doesn’t seek to minimise this offence in any way.”