Thief stole ring of widow, 89

A jobless man must do 150 hours unpaid work after stealing the engagement ring of an 89-year-old widow who helped him.

Anthony Grundy, 56, stayed with the Heanor pensioner for eight weeks “after turning up on her doorstep,” a court heard on Friday, February 1.

The pensioner, a friend of his dead mother, eventually had to ask him to leave but he returned in November, saying he needed to use the toilet.

While upstairs, he went into her bedroom and took the ring, pawning it for £16, said Miss Sonal Ahya, prosecuting.

Judge Jonathan Gosling imposed the community work order and a nine-month prison term, suspended for two years, on Grundy of Derby Road, Heanor.

“This was a despicable crime against an elderly lady who took you in and looked after you. She had that ring for 70 years and obviously it had sentimental value,” the judge said at Derby Crown Court.

Grundy admitted burglary. The court was told the ring had been returned to the pensioner.

Gregor Purcell, mitigating, said:”This is a mean offence and unkind in every way.

“But the betrayal is a more serious aspect rather than the intrusion.”

He described Grundy as a vulnerable person who had spent a legacy left by his mother and now had no cash.

“He spent £40,000 in two years on drink. He was then dependant on the charity of his mother’s good friend and he has abused that trust. He needs stability and support,”said Mr Purcell.

He told the court that Grundy had a job until two years ago and would benefit from doing the community work.