Don't miss a story sign up to Exmouth Journal's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Couple angry over burglar’s sentence

09:00 08 February 2014

Exeter Crown Court.

Exeter Crown Court.


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

Children from the Topsham school had an assembly as part of Anti Bullying Week given by Roisin Turley: NSPCC Schools Organiser for the region. Roisin Talked to the children on staying safe and it is hoped the youngsters will help raise funds for the charity during their next term. Ref ext 7019-47-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Schoolchildren in Topsham were visited by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) with an anti-bullying message.

Read more
Exmouth Mayor cllr Maddy Chapman and Town Crier Roger Bourgein joined Bob Dennison-the MD of Stagecoach SW to launch the new Gold Stagecoach bus service which features free wi-fi and USB charging points and will be on the 57 route between Exmouth and Exeter. Ref exe 7072-47-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Stagecoach is promising customers in Exmouth a first-class service after spending £2.1 million on a fleet of 10 new buses.

Read more
Melissa Hockings, from Marpool Primary School, who was named as Children and Young People’s Workforce Apprentice of the Year at the Exeter College Apprenticeship Awards.

An Exmouth pre-school and nursery, and an apprentice at an Exmouth primary school, are celebrating after receiving awards for their work.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30
Father Nick Batchelor with his daughters Rosie (left) and Grace (right)

A kind-hearted school pupil from Topsham has nominated her father for a community award.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00
Syria children were 'overwhelmed' to receive letters of friendship from Lympstone Primary School pupils.

‘There wasn’t a dry eye left’ as Lympstone Primary School pupils looked at pictures and watched a video of Syrian youngsters receiving letters of friendship.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30
Overflowing recycling bins at Tesco, Salterton Road.

Supermarket chain Tesco has called for people to use its recycling area responsibly, after it was left strewn with dumped waste.

Read more
Fri, 16:30
Freddie Woodcock, pictured with grandchildren Izabella Woodcock, Beau Watson, and Jay Woodcock, and copies of his book, The Secret Coin.

A Brixington grandfather, who has overcome dyslexia to write his first novel, is hoping to encourage others to write.

Read more
Fri, 12:30
Brixington Church

Plans to demolish Brixington Community Church and spend £2.5million rebuilding it could be altered to ease residents’ concerns, the Reverend Simon Atkinson has said.

Read more
Fri, 10:00
Aerial view of Exmouth Ref: 23-05-0043SH

A new survey, asking the public about redevelopment plans for Exmouth seafront, has found strong opposition to the current proposals.

Read more
Fri, 09:15

A formal planning application has been submitted for an M&S food store on the site of Exmouth Bus Station.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

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

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

Search for a job in Exmouth

Find planning applications