Burglar cashed in on sentimental rings

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A PROLIFIC burglar from Codnor was sentenced to three years in prison for stealing sentimental rings from an 80-year-old woman.

David Bailey, from Jessop Street, Codnor sneaked into the home of Jean Faulkner through an open door on February 11 at 4.30pm.

On Monday Derby Crown Court heard how Mrs Faulkner of Sandham Lane, Ripley, was alone in the house when she noticed the iron gate leading onto her back garden and back door were left open. On heading upstairs, she was shocked to see burglar Bailey standing in her bedroom having rifled through her wardrobes. After shouting at him to leave, the burglar fled with Mrs Faulkner’s and her mother’s engagement and wedding rings, a gold chain and £300 in cash. In sentencing Bailey, who was convicted for the 22nd time since 2002 this week and was said to be in financial difficulty at the time following the loss of his job, Judge Hilary Watson called the crime ‘as mean as it can get’.

Prosecuting, Vee Monroe said: “The wedding rings and engagement rings are of sentimental value and can never be replaced.

“The shock of the incident has taken some time to sink in. When she goes out she says she is afraid there will be an intruder in the home, she constantly checks around every corner. She realises now how vulnerable she is.”

In May Bailey pawned the rings at a ‘cash for gold’ shop. It is believed they were recycled for their gold value, with Bailey receiving £250. Mrs Faulkner managed to claim £690 from her home insurance policy, but was forced to pay a £100 excess.

On May 16 Bailey was charged with the burglary, after a forensic investigation of Mrs Faulkner’s house found Bailey’s fingerprints on a ceramic pot in the pensioner’s bedroom.

Bailey was given credit for pleading guilty at the earliest opportunity at a hearing in May, and for asking for six other offences to be taken into consideration when being sentenced. They included five house burglaries and the theft of a Honda motorcycle.