Couple angry over burglar’s sentence

09:00 08 February 2014

Exeter Crown Court.

Exeter Crown Court.

Archant

Pensioners Mr and Mrs Emery, from Exton, are angry a burglar who stole precious family jewellery ‘got away with it’ at court.

A pensioner couple from Exton have hit out at the ‘slap on the wrist’ given to a trusted builder who stole their family jewellery.

Among the haul of much-loved jewellery stolen from Jennifer and Eric Emery last autumn was the couple’s wedding rings – exchanged 45 years ago, writes Becca Gliddon.

Police recovered a fraction of the haul – the most sentimental pieces were sold for cash and lost forever - smelted down as scrap gold.

Damon Fitch had been working at the couple’s new home – ahead of their move-in – when he pilfered family heirlooms, including rings, pocket watches and other jewellery, which he sold to buy drugs.

Fitch admitted two counts of burglary and was jailed for 16 months, suspended for two years with supervision and a condition of residence at the Amber Foundation, North Devon.

Mr and Mrs Emery are angry the courts spared Fitch jail in favour of attending the Amber Foundation – a charity which helps the homeless and unemployed back into work – where he is learning skills to become a tree surgeon.

Retired dentist Mr Emery, 80, said: “To all intents and purposes, he’s got away with it. He’s just got to be a good boy for a couple of years.”

Exeter Crown Court heard how Fitch searched the couple’s bedrooms while they were out, stealing gold and sliver worth around £3,820, which he sold at a fraction of their true value at second-hand shops so he could spend the money on drugs.

Mr and Mrs Emery checked their belongings after seeing Fitch coming out of one of the bedrooms.

They found jewellery, including their wedding rings, missing; Fitch confessed when confronted by his boss.

He told police he had sold the jewellery and spent the money paying off debts and buying cocaine and cannabis.

The court heard Fitch moved to Devon to start a new life with the help of the Amber Foundation; he hopes to escape the cycle of drug abuse and crime.

Police Constable Adam Johnson, at Exmouth CID, praised Fitch’s boss for exposing the crime, resulting in his employee’s confession.

Other News Stories

Littleham's Brianna Evans, currently Miss Devon is preparing for the Miss England competition. Ref exe 5655-30-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A Littleham teenager, whose hopes of becoming Miss England were dashed by a health scare, has been given automatic entry into next year’s contest.

Read more
06:30
The family of Luke Hendrick are trying to raise awareness of the infection he died from

The family of an Exmouth man who died suddenly from an undiagnosed infection is launching an awareness campaign in his name.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:47
Members of EDDC's Streetscene team investigating the sink hole on Exmouth beach

Work on a section of Exmouth beach where a sink hole has appeared several times in the last two months is set to begin on Friday, August 28.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:56
Speedometer

Exmouth crime writer Graham Hurley says that a narrow street without pavements has turned into a rat-run and should have a 20mph speed limit.

Read more
Wed, 10:48

After Great Britain’s record medal haul at the recent FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia, where 14 medals (seven of them gold) were won by the GB squad across swimming and diving, this is your chance to take the plunge.

Read more
Wed, 08:23
Best garden winners Peter and Evelyn Paine, who are also celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary

A Lympstone couple, who will be celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary, have won a gardening award.

Read more
Wed, 08:22
Ready for the off at the start of one of the junior swimming races in the National Surf Life Saving Championships this week. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 2736-34-14SH To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on Photo Orders

Exmouth beach welcomes back the Surf Life Saving GB Ocean Championships this week.

Read more
Tue, 09:09

New markings could be installed to warn people not to cycle on pavements in Budleigh Salterton.

Read more
Mon, 17:31
Beautiful days

Photos by Eleanor Pipe, Stephen Sumner and Becca Gliddon

Read more
Mon, 12:37
Inspector Antonia Weeks

‘Non-dwelling’ burglaries of buildings like out-houses and garden sheds in the Exmouth area have increased by eight per cent in a year.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 13°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition today E-edition


Exmouth's trusted business finder