Cleaner admits stealing �10k-worth of jewellery
A ‘CALLOUS’ cleaner has been jailed after stealing more than �10,000 worth of jewellery from clients.
Deborah Dade was entrusted to work in people’s homes, but abused that trust by ransacking their personal possessions and stealing irreplaceable family heirlooms.
The 41-year-old pleaded guilty to seven counts of theft when she appeared at North Somerset Courthouse. The court was told how she helped herself to expensive and sentimental jewellery and then sold them to a cash-for-gold business.
She was given a four-month prison sentence on Monday after stealing rings, necklaces, chains and perfume from private homes she worked at between June and November last year.
None of the stolen items have been recovered.
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Jane Cooper, prosecuting, said Dade worked for Poppins Home Help Services during the time of the thefts.
Fenella Bampfylde and her partner Richard Davidson, from Winscombe, lost an estimated �2,000’s worth of jewellery, including a gold diamond necklace.
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Mr Davidson said he could not believe she had carried out her crimes and acted so normally.
He said: “It was a particularly callous theft as it was carried out over a period of weeks and she would wave goodbye to me, probably with a fistful of things in her hand.”
One of the rings taken belonged to Ms Bampfylde’s dead mother.
She said: “I think the worst thing about it is that we had someone we thought we could trust in our house.
“I have other (rings) but that was the one that meant the most to me. Replacing it won’t be an option.”
Dade stole jewellery from homes in Langford, Wrington, Winscombe and Priddy, while working for the Butcombe-based cleaning firm.
Dade, of Knightstone Close, Axbridge, said personal circumstances affected her judgement. She said: “It was completely out of character for me. I can’t justify what I have done and how I have hurt people.
“I was going through the worst two years of my life, fighting social services for my children and my mother died.
“I have sleepless nights and beat myself up over what I have done.”
Kate Herbison, chair of the bench, said Dade will serve at least two months of her sentence.
She said: “These offences are extremely serious and you were in a position of trust and stole a lot of valuable items.”
No compensation or costs were imposed upon Dade.