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Monday, 22 September 2014

‘I’ve pawned your jewellery’ – thief

A MAN who stole £700-worth of jewellery from a friend before admitting his crime to her on Facebook has been convicted of theft.

Stephen Lewis Coates, of Market Street, Ulverston, was sentenced to a 12-month community order in Furness Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

The 37-year-old stole two rings, a locket and earrings from the home of Tara Parrish in May and pawned them at Cash for Gold in Barrow for just £50.

The court heard that Coates had been taking non-prescription medication while staying with Ms Parrish and could not remember details of the offence.

“He thinks he’s entered the bedroom and removed the jewellery,” prosecutor Mrs Lisa Hine told the court.

Later, Mr Coates contacted Ms Parrish over the social networking site Facebook to admit the theft and express his remorse.

“It’s been pawned,” he said. “I can’t get it back because it’s scrap.”

The jewellery was not insured and held enormous sentimental value to Ms Parrish, as it had been bought for her by her husband and children.

Coates was also convicted of a charge of theft from a shop after he admitted to stealing an MP3 player and alarm clock from Asda in Barrow on August 3.

He was in town to collect a methadone prescription and took the items – valued at £38.50 - from the electronics department and hid them in his clothes before going to the checkout and buying some cheap food items.

However, he was caught when he tried to exit the store and the items were taken from him.

Mrs Hine said Coates had a history of convictions for dishonesty and had served four years in prison from 2007.

He was convicted of both charges of theft and one count of failing to attend court, and sentenced to a 12-month community order. A second charge of failing to attend court was dismissed.

Presiding magistrate Dr Raj Rathi also ordered he pay £700 compensation to Ms Parrish and a further £100 in court costs.

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