Burglar stole £1,000 engagement ring from mother's neighbour
A man who stole a £1,000 engagement ring and cash from the home of his mother's neighbours whom he befriended has been jailed for two years.
Liam Bedworth, 22, went into the property in Station Street, Darlaston, in the early hours of July 1 last year, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.
But the family's pet dog started to bark and the noise woke up his distraught victims who saw him leaving the premises at about 3.30am.
It was later discovered that the platinum ring and a handbag containing £40 was missing.
Mr Howard Searle, prosecuting advocate, said the householders lived two doors away from Bedworth's mother where he was staying at the time and they saw him as a friend.
"When the husband looked outside to see what was going on the dog was outside and the defendant was in in the next door garden. He confronted him, but Bedworth ran off and at that stage the police were called.
"The handbag was recovered in an outbuilding at an adjoining property. He made a partial confession by in a message via social media, but was arrested after he failed to turn up at the magistrates' court and a warrant was issued for him," Mr Searle said.
In a statement the family said they had 'trusted' the defendant and the incident had 'caused them a great deal of upset'.
Mr Searle said a child in the home had found out about what had happened and now has difficulty sleeping as a result.
Bedworth admitted an offence of burglary at a previous hearing.
Miss Blondel Thompson, defending barrister, told the court that Bedworth, formerly of Stoney Lane, Little Bloxwich, had been going through alcohol and financial difficulties. And was remorseful.
But Mr Recorder Ciaran Rankin told him: "This is an extremely mean offence. You were in a place of trust with the family which you breached.
"In my view the premises was deliberately targeted. You befriended the people, you knew the property and you knew the dog. You knew they were easy pickings."
He sentenced Bedworth to two years in prison. He must serve half of the term before being released. The defendant was also ordered to pay £120 victim's surcharge.
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