Window fitter stole rings to fund cocaine use

13:05 11 January 2013


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


A piece of Exmouth town centre will be turning purple to help the fight to eradicate one of the world’s deadliest diseases.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:17

Police say they are treating the semi-naked woman shown in a photograph with an Exmouth dinosaur trail model as a victim, because the image was ‘unlawfully accessed’ and shared without permission.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30

Television cameras have caught the moment an Exmouth man returned to the armed forces life 10 years after he was discharged.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00

Exmouth Police Station is to stay in its current location for the foreseeable feature, after plans for its replacement were delayed.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30

Detectives at Exmouth are appealing for information after a home in Budleigh Salterton was burgled and jewellery stolen.

Read more
Thu, 12:30

Exmouth in Bloom has achieved silver gilt status in the national Britain in Bloom competition.

Read more
Thu, 11:30

There’s just a few days to go to Exmouth Means Business – the one-day networking event, aimed at businesses from Exmouth, East Devon and Exeter.

Read more
Thu, 10:05

Now that the ‘September Scramble’ at the start of the new school year is out of the way, here’s something to look forward to for parents and grandparents - Budleigh Big Band Night with AJ’s on Friday, November 4.

Read more
Thu, 09:51

The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) in Exmouth went down in the month of September, figures have shown.

Read more
Thu, 06:30

East Devon’s MP has questioned a government minister on healthcare issues in Exmouth, including the potential loss of hospital beds, the possible sale of mental health facility St John’s Court, and the loss of out-of-hours GPs.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 6°C

Most Read News

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

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder


Show Job Lists

Find planning applications