Leicester woman stole £14,000 of mother's jewellery to pay off drug debt
A young woman stole £14,400 of her mother's jewellery to pay off a drug debt, a court heard.
Sophie Barby (22) sold the valuables for just £1,500 at two pawn shops. None of the items were recovered.
Her distraught mother reported her daughter to the police, because she had previously stolen items from the family home.
At Leicester Crown Court, Barby admitted stealing several items of jewellery on December 31 last year.
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Sentencing, Judge Michael Pert QC said: "What you did was mean and nasty.
"Whatever difficulties you got into, or whatever the reason you got into them, stealing from your mother is despicable."
The judge said that Barby's mother, father and college business-studies tutor had written letters to the court.
"I'm glad your family is coming to terms with it and things are more on an even keel," he said.
The hearing was told that after Barby moved out of the family home, to a flat in Portland Road, Clarendon Park, Leicester, her family discovered property missing.
Her mother did not press charges, but the police spoke to the defendant about it. However, in June, her mother realised her jewellery was missing. Only family memberwould have known where it was kept.
"She confronted the defendant who admitted she had taken the jewellery," said Victoria Rose, prosecuting. "At that point, the police became involved.
"She was at the end of her tether and felt she had no choice but to go to the police.
"It was sold for a fraction of its worth.
"The defendant needed to pay off a drug debt and said she owed a dealer £2,000. None of the items were recovered."
Sally Bamford, mitigating, said: "She deeply regrets her actions.
"If she could turn the clock back, or recover the items, she would.
"Her mother felt she had to take these steps because of the earlier incident and she was at a loss about what to do."
Miss Bamford said Barby was attending college and said: "She's academically able and can look forward to a good future if she stays on course.
"It appears she got into the wrong company and got completely out of her depth, but has now moved on."
Barby was given a 12-month community order with 120 hours of unpaid work.