A DRUG addict burgled the homes of two families he knew, stealing thousands of pounds worth of jewellery and watches including two wedding rings.
Andrew Beale was already subject to a suspended prison sentence for burgling his father’s and his grandparents’ homes at the time of his latest raids.
The 24-year-old, of Wolds Lane in Wolvey, was jailed for two years and four months after pleading guilty to two burglaries and asking for a third to be taken into consideration.
Warwick Crown Court heard Beale targeted the home of a friend’s mother on Launceton Drive in Nuneaton.
After taking the key from her in November he let himself and helped himself to £7,600 worth of property including an eternity ring and an engagement ring worth £1,000 each, a £3,000 wedding ring and a Tag Heuer watch worth around £2,000.
The following day he burgled the home of a family he had known for a number of years, having been a friend of their son, and who had even taken him on holiday with them when he was younger.
Rings, including a wedding ring, other jewellery and a watch worth a total of about £5,000 were taken from the house on Grasmere Crescent, also in Nuneaton.
Prosecutor Hugh O’Brien-Quinn both victims have spoken of having known Beale as a young boy and feeling betrayed by him breaking into their homes and taking property of sentimental value.
Beale also admitted burgling the caravan home of a 78-year-old woman on a caravan park where he was doing maintenance work at the time and stealing jewellery.
And the court heard at the time of the offences he was subject to a 12-month suspended prison sentence for burgling his father’s home, from where he stole jewellery worth £42,000 belonging to his step-mother, and his grandmother’s home.
Sean Logan, defending, said: “There is a clear breach of trust. He is ashamed of that.
“He says he has been suffering from depression, mainly because of debts he had run up. He had a cocaine habit which was not unrelated to his debt problem.”
Judge Sylvia de Bertodano said the items he stolen were priceless.
“These families are horrified by what you have done, given that they know you and have shown kindness towards you. Your problem is class A drugs; and until you conquer that, you are not going to be able to stop offending,” she added.