Window fitter stole rings to fund cocaine use

13:05 11 January 2013

Archant

A Brixington window fitter stole jewellery from elderly customers’ homes to pay his cocaine debts, magistrates have heard.

James Veale, 30, of Priddis Close, carried out the thefts when visiting the properties to work.

The first theft, on September 7 last year, was from a 90-year-old Exmouth woman, who hired the window company Veale worked for to replace her kitchen door.

A week after the work had been completed, she discovered that a ring worth £350 had been stolen.

Two months later, on November 14, a 70-year-old woman with a holiday home in Sidmouth hired the company to repair a sash window, and Veale was one of the workmen who called.

Two days later, the victim noticed that two rings with a total value of more than £3,000 had been taken.

When police arrested Veale, he confessed to taking the jewellery and said he had sold the items to a cash-for-gold shop.

When police went to the business, they were able to recover the items taken from Sidmouth, but were told the ring taken from Exmouth had already been melted down.

Appearing at Exeter Magistrates’ Court, Veale pleaded guilty to the two thefts. He also asked for a third theft to be taken into consideration.

The court heard that when the offences took place, Veale was struggling with a bereavement and problems at work, which he tried to cope with by using cocaine. At the height of the problem, Veale was spending around £350 a week on the drug, and ended up in debt to payday loan companies and drug dealers, which led him to commit the “opportunistic” thefts to raise funds.

Veale’s solicitor James Rickard said his client expressed “deep remorse” for the thefts, which had cost him his job of ten years.

Although he had been accompanied by colleagues during the work at the houses, the court heard that Veale, who had no previous convictions, acted alone.

Magistrates ordered Veale to complete 120 hours of unpaid work and pay £350 compensation to the victim whose ring was lost.

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 13:09
Elections take place on May 7

East Devon’s election chief has apologised after an error was identified in the postal voting papers sent out to some electors.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:36

A new 210-place primary school could be opening in Exmouth, offering children a different kind of curriculum.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:28

Fire crews have been called to a fire at the Spar store in Budleigh Salterton.

Read more
Sunday, April 26, 2015
A book written by the late Barbara Smale was handed over to local school children at the Exmouth library this week. The youngsters from Exeter Road primary are pictured with their headteacher Paul Gosling, Chris Launder from the library, Barbara's husband Colin, illustrator Jemma Cholawo, publishers Rachel and Drummond Johnstone and Judy Vallance who sponsored the publication. The book will be given out free to local schools. Ref exe 3280-15-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Children from Exeter Road Community Primary School have got their hands on a new book written by an Exmouth author.

Read more
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Clare Teal at the Budleigh Jazz Festival.

The future of Budleigh Jazz Festival could be in doubt after its organiser announced he was stepping down from the role.

Read more
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Pete Lowres

Devon Freewheeler volunteer Pete Lowres, 46, knows every penny that drops into the charity’s collection pots is vital to continue its lifeline work.

Read more
Saturday, April 25, 2015
Father Trevor Smyth with Bishop Richard Hawkins. Fr Trevor says farewell to his parishioners at his final service at All Saint's Church, Exeter Road, as he retires from his post. Ref exe 3343-16-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

An Exmouth vicar has said a fond farewell to his parishioners after more than 14 years.

Read more
Saturday, April 25, 2015
T-Rex

Phear Park and Manor Gardens are being discussed as possible venues for the return of dinosaurs to Exmouth.

Read more
Saturday, April 25, 2015

Devon Freewheelers operates daily ‘hand-to-mouth’, never knowing where its next penny will come from.

Read more
Friday, April 24, 2015

Tesco says it is still planning to come to Budleigh, despite a planning application for its proposed store having been withdrawn.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 4°C

Most Read News

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

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



Exmouth's trusted business finder