Magistrates order defendant to pay out £800 compensation after stealing friend’s rings

Court news.
Court news.

A ‘desperate’ woman who stole jewellery from her friend has been ordered to pay £800 in compensation by Boston magistrates.

On Wednesday, Aimee Louise Ward pleaded guilty to stealing four gold rings – with sentimental value – to help her money troubles.

Prosecutor Marie Stace told the town court that Ward arrived at the complainant’s address unannounced at 5pm on July 11.

She added that Ward, 28, then went to inspect a newly-decorated room upstairs, while her friend continued cooking a meal.

“A couple of days later (the complainant) went to get dressed up,” Miss Stace continued.

“She has four gold rings which she keeps for dressing up, and she noticed they were missing. There was no sign of a break-in and she knew that she (Ward) was the only person who had been upstairs unaccompanied.”

The complainant then sent Ward a text message asking whether she had ‘borrowed’ the rings, the court was told.

There was an initial denial by Ward, of Kitwood Road, Boston. Miss Stace added: “She said she hadn’t taken them. But a little bit later she replied saying she was sorry and couldn’t continue like this. She said she had taken the rings because she was desperate.”

The court was told that the rings were sold for £90.

When it was attempted to recover the jewellery, they were told they had already been melted down.

In defence, Philippa Chatterton said her client had been suffering ‘numerous difficulties’ and needed the money to help pay her rent and finance a house move.

Miss Chatterton added Ward was suffering from ‘overwhelming guilt’ and that her friendship was now ‘irrepairable’.

Magistrates said they were moved by Ward’s ‘genuine remorse’ and early guilty 
plea.

They opted to move out of the sentencing guidelines to hand her a two-year conditional discharge.

However, she must pay £800 compensation, £35 costs and the £15 victim surcharge.