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

18 minutes ago

This stunning view will become the outdoor ‘office’ for the new East Devon Pebblebed Heaths’ conservation manager

Read more
12:30

The hunt is on to recruit two new local youths to sign up for the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) course.

Read more
10:28

An ‘unprecedented’ disaster that has left a lasting legacy in East Devon

Read more
10:00

An Exmouth woman has been nominated for a national award after losing two stone in three months.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:39

Ricky Gervais has pledged to donate gig profits to animal charity Nowzad, which was founded in Exmouth,

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30

Rugby players from Exeter Chiefs visited Otterton Primary School this week.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00

An ‘anti-motor home’ pensioner from Exmouth has hit out at a Good Samaritan’s plan to spread seafront cheer to strangers.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30

A Brixington woman has described her Great Wall of China charity challenge as an ‘amazing’ experience.

Read more
Yesterday, 01:00

A Devon-based restaurant will become the first in 2017 to be given a top industry award.

Read more
Mon, 12:30

Plans for retirement housing to be built on a former care home site in Exmouth have again been opposed by town planners

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 0°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

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

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications