Teenage gambler stole from neighbour to fund addiction
TEENAGER Joel Stanton twice burgled his neighbours' home to fund his gambling addiction.
The 19-year-old removed bricks in his mother's loft to enter the neighbouring property in Vale Street, Silverdale, Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard yesterday.
Prosecutor Heather Chamberlin said one of the victims went to use her laptop on September 6 and noticed it wasn't in the wardrobe. But there was no sign of a forced entry to her home so she thought she must have mislaid it.
But on October 1 her husband realised his headphones were missing and noticed a drawer was open.
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Miss Chamberlin said: "He went in the loft and found some loose bricks which could be removed.
"His wife checked her jewellery and found her wedding ring and engagement ring and other jewellery had been taken.
"Credit cards, computer hard drives were gone."
Police visited a jewellers and found three items which Stanton had sold them using his own driving licence.
But other items had already been sold to unknown buyers.
Other items were recovered from Cash Converters.
Stanton, formerly of Vale Street, Silverdale, who is now of no fixed address, was arrested on October 6.
He pleaded guilty to two charges of burglary.
Anis Ali, mitigating, said: "He has been gambling online. He was £15,000 in debt. He recognises the time has come to address his habit."
Judge Paul Glenn sentenced Stanton to 14 months' detention in a young offenders' institution.
He told Stanton: "The victims speak of feelings of being personally violated."