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

12:30

Budleigh could take control of its own destiny when it comes to housing development, after civic leaders agreed to investigate a Neighbourhood Plan for the town.

Read more
11:00

Budleigh Salterton residents facing the prospect of a cycle track being built behind their homes are hopeful their concerns will be listened to after planners agreed to meet them

Read more
06:30
Geoffrey and Christine Seward back home in Exmouth after they discovered a man was found to be hiding in their vehicle as they drove through Plymouth after returning from France. Ref exe 2125-27-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

An Exmouth couple returning from holiday in France were stunned when a noise from the back of their campervan turned out to be a suspected illegal immigrant.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30
Kittleham orchard

Residents spent a day tending to the Littleham Community Orchard.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00
Ten year old Sophia Rehbock is pictured in her garden at Rosehill which was one of the open gardens for Hospiscare in Budleigh Salterton over the weekend. Ref exb 2519-27-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

The organisers of the Budleigh Open Gardens event for Hospiscare have hailed it as a success.

Read more
Saturday, July 4, 2015
Waltons

For more than 60 years, the iconic Walton’s department store was Exmouth’s answer to Grace Brothers in the sitcom Are you Being Served, complete with haberdashery and lingerie departments, menswear and ladieswear, a huge toy department and perfumery.

Read more
Saturday, July 4, 2015
A former contestant on The Voice Adam Isaac entertains the crowds at the party to celebrate 20 years of the Devon Air Ambulance at Darts Farm on Saturday. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 4029-35-12SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

A Devon singer and TV star has been added to the bill at an Exmouth charity’s first-ever fundraising ball.

Read more
Saturday, July 4, 2015
Jef Pirie who runs the Littleham and High Street launderettes wrote a one act play entitled 'I'd Like to Believe in Angels' which won the Exmouth One Act Play Festival recently. Ref exe 1733-25-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

An Exmouth playwright is looking to get his work published after he won two awards at a recent drama festival.

Read more
Friday, July 3, 2015
HM Coastguard

A section of Exmouth beach was cordoned off by the coastguard after a two-metre-wide hole appeared in the sand.

Read more
Friday, July 3, 2015
Exeter Road school's sports day. Ref exe 9472-26-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Children at Exeter Road Primary School enjoyed the sunshine as they competed in the school’s annual sports day.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 16°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