A BURGLAR from Warwick who was given a chance to escape being jailed by repaying a couple for £5,000 worth of antique jewellery he had stolen from their home has not paid back a penny.
Darran Phazey, of George Road, was jailed for 16 months at Warwick Crown Court. He had pleaded guilty earlier this year to burgling the home of his neighbours after being trusted with a key to the property.
In June, Judge Peter Cooke deferred sentence for six months after being told Phazey regretted what he had done and wanted to pay the couple back.
But at the resumed hearing, prosecutor Blondel Thompson revealed the 35-year-old had failed to do so.
Miss Thompson said after moving to George Road last year the couple next door had quite a lot of work done to the property.
Having become friendly with Phazey’s mother, they wanted someone local to carry out some bits of work at the house, and employed Phazey.
They trusted him sufficiently to give him a key to the house so he could let himself in when they required him to do specific jobs inside.
The couple had some antique jewellery worth around £5,000 which was kept in their bedroom, which Phazey had no need to enter, inside the wardrobe in a box covered by cushions.
They later discovered items missing and police found Phazey’s fingerprints on a Tiffany box which had been left behind in the wardrobe.
When he was arrested, the police found some of the stolen items at his home, and he made a full admission, telling the police he was addicted to gambling on slot machines.
He expressed remorse, and said he wanted to help retrieve the property, giving them details of shops where he had sold most of it, but said he had also given some pieces to woman friend.
At the hearing in June, Ian Speed, defending, said Phazey, who had a conviction for burglary when he was a youth, wanted to pay the couple back.
Deferring sentence, Judge Cooke had told Phazey that if he committed no further offences, remained in work, and repaid the money, he would not jail him.
But on learning nothing had been paid the judge sent him to prison.
Jailing Phazey, the judge told him: “You have not kept your side of the bargain, and I don’t feel bound to keep mine.”