Raider was not ‘making a brew’

Preston Crown Court

Preston Crown Court

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A man stole £200 from a customer on his first day in a plastering job.

Ryan Wilkinson claimed he was making a cup of tea when spotted rifling through kitchen drawers at a flat on York Avenue, Cleveleys.

And afterwards, he seemed to rush through his work before leaving for the day, a court was told.

But as he was sentenced, a judge at Preston Crown Court told Wilkinson he had added insult to injury by denying the offence and casting suspicion on another worker.

Wilkinson, 24, of Whiteside Street, Blackpool was placed on a two month long curfew when he appeared before the court.

He had pleaded guilty to theft. His curfew will operate from 9pm-7am, but he must also pay £200 compensation, plus £1,200 prosecution costs.

Abigail Hudson, prosecuting, said work was offered to him and another man last July on a block of flats.

The defendant was working in one flat, while the second man was in another.

It was Wilkinson’s first day on the job.

At around lunch time he was found rifling through drawers in the kitchen.

He said he was making a cup of tea.

After that he seemed to rush through his work and leave for the day.

Later the occupant returned and found that £200 in cash was missing.

Wilkinson denied stealing any money when arrested and interviewed.

It appeared that his employer reimbursed the theft victim, the court was told.

David Traynor, defending, accepted that it had been a “mean” offence. Wilkinson worked one or two days a month, when work was available.

Judge Heather Lloyd told Wilkinson: “You breached the trust of your employer and the householder.

“You didn’t have the decency to admit your guilt until the day of trial.

“I don’t accept your account that this was something you spotted as you were looking for cutlery.

“There was no cutlery in the drawer you opened to get the money”.

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