Medals stolen while soldier in war zone

Blackpool Magistrates Court

Blackpool Magistrates Court

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A soldier’s medals were stolen from his mother’s home and sold on a market stall for cigarette money – while he served in Afghanistan.

Cpl Daniel Royle, from the 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, was awarded medals for tours he served in Afghanistan and Northern Ireland, only for them to be stolen by Rebecca Todd, an 18-year-old office worker.

At the time of the theft, Todd was staying with the family because she was in a relationship with Mr Royle’s sister, a court was told.

Todd, of Boothroyden, North Shore, pleaded guilty to an offence of theft and two offences of fraud.

Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said the mother had noticed the lock on her bedroom door had been broken and five military medals had been stolen from a glass display case on February 3.

The mother later found the medals on a stall at Abingdon Street market and CCTV evidence was captured, the court was told.

Todd told police the medals were sold for £230 and the money was spent on tobacco, food and clothes.

Rosemary Shipley, presiding magistrate at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court, said: “The person whose medals were stolen, and many others, are away fighting for their country and you think it’s all right to sell their medals for tobacco as they are being shot at.”

Gerry Coyle, defending, said Todd, who had no previous convictions, had no idea about the medals until her partner gave them to her.

The theft and sale of the items led to her and her partner being thrown out of the home and left with nowhere to stay.

Todd was handed a two year conditional discharge and ordered to pay £230 compensation, £85 costs plus £15 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.

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