Defendant 'sold soul to the devil' by stealing mother's jewellery to buy cocaine

Sheffield Crown Court
Sheffield Crown Court
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A judge said a defendant 'had sold his soul to the devil' after stealing £12,000 worth of jewellery from his mother to fund his cocaine addiction.

David Wilkinson, now of no fixed abode, had been living in his parents' house in Sheffield when he carried out the thefts - going on to sell the items to pawn shops and in local pubs.

Wilkinson was given a suspended sentence and ordered to take part in a drug rehabilitation classes after his parents said they wanted him to get professional treatment for his addiction.

Sheffield Crown Court said his parents had spent most of their life savings helping their son, who is now 38, paying off his drug debts prior to the theft.

Wilkinson told police in interview that he had a cocaine addiction and had got himself into debt, resulting in him carrying out the thefts from his mother.

The court heard his mother 'has been left feeling a number of emotions, from anger to sadness' after having 'bailed him out financially time and time again' prior to the thefts.

Judge Recorder Smith asked if Wilkinson had any way of paying back the £11,168.32 he owes his parents after only one of the stolen items, a ring, was recovered.

When told that Wilkinson had been unemployed 'for some time' due to his drug addiction, Recorder Smith said: "I was going to suggest he sells his soul to the devil but he has already done that."

Amy Earnshaw, representing Wilkinson, said: "He would accept it is a mean offence.

"He has expressed genuine remorse and upset as to what he has done to his family. He concedes he has broken the bond of trust that existed between himself and his parents."

Wilkinson received 18 months in prison, suspended for two years and will be required to take part in a nine-month course of drug rehabilitation treatment.

Recorder Smith said the sentence took into account 'the particularly mean nature of the offence and the distress it has caused', as well as his parents' wishes for Wilkinson to get professional help.