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

36 minutes ago

A four-year-old girl in Budleigh Salterton was left in tears after finding the bike she loved had been broken beyond repair.

Read more
09:33

District chiefs are facing criticism for ‘ignoring’ a town poll calling for more consultation on proposed seafront redevelopment.

Read more
07:00

Residents are being asked for their help to draw up a new pattern of council wards for East Devon District Council.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:18

The second Exmouth Spirit of the Exe and Mussel Festival was held on Saturday on the sea front

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30

Seafront campaigners have questioned the need to demolish a popular attraction after it was revealed that the site could be open for temporary use next summer.

Read more
Sunday, September 25, 2016

A third of ‘Jurassic Ambassadors’ who volunteer their time to promote the historic coastline are from East Devon.

Read more
Sunday, September 25, 2016

Healthy eating has paid off for Littleham Primary School as it has been recognised for its hard work.

Read more
Sunday, September 25, 2016

A tanning company whose shop in Exmouth was ravaged by a fire earlier this year is expecting to reopen at a new site next year.

Read more
Saturday, September 24, 2016

A Lympstone couple are hoping to bring some smiles to the faces of teenage villagers in the depths of Africa.

Read more
Saturday, September 24, 2016

Speed check volunteers between Knowle and Budleigh Salterton have defended their policy of putting out signs warning motorists of their presence.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 13°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

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications