Stole jewellery from friends worth £900

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

A woman stole £900 worth of jewellery from her friend to fund her gambling addiction, a court has heard. Lorraine Crawford, of Heron Way, pleaded guilty to the theft of the jewellery between March 22 and April 2.

Derry Magistrates Court heard the 57-year-old was staying with her friends when she stole the jewellery.

She sold the jewellery which was worth £900 to used good shops. All but one of the items was recovered and returned to the owners.

During police interview, Crawford made full admissions.

Defence solicitor Maeliosa Barr told the court Crawford had a number of difficulties in her life.

He said she had suffered a bereavement earlier this year and ‘her whole world fell apart’

The solicitor said this caused the 57-year-old to gamble again.

However, Mr Barr said the defendant sought help and was receiving counselling.

The solicitor told the court Crawford was ashamed of her behaviour and had expressed remorse.

Suspending a nine month sentence for three years, District Judge Barney McElholm said this was a ‘serious breach of trust case’.

‘These people took her in and allowed her to live in their home. She rewarded them by stealing from them’.

The judge said that Crawford was ‘very fortunate not to be going directly to prison’.

Judge McElholm also ordered the defendant to pay £300 compensation to the injured parties.