Burglar stole irreplaceable birthday gifts from Watnall home
A burglar who ransacked a Watnall home and stole irreplaceable jewellery was under pressure to pay off a drug debt, a court has heard.
Simon Masterson was told the key to a home in Watnall was kept in a key-stone outside, but he triggered a door-bell camera, at 9.30am, on January 4, said prosecutor Lucky Thandi.
The owner received an image of Masterson at her front door on her mobile phone, but just assumed he was connected with building work nextdoor.
Seven minutes later she received another image of him as he walked away down her drive carrying a hold-all that belonged to her.
"She rushed home to attend to her six-month old puppy and found the back door open and the drawers in the kitchen were open," said Ms Thandi.
Her relief at finding the puppy unharmed was short-lived, Nottingham Crown Court heard, as she discovered her home had been ransacked.
Masterson took an i-phone, an Amazon Kindle, a laptop, brand new Adidas trainers and a Mulberry bag.
He also took a jewellery case containing a diamond necklace and two wristwatches, which were engraved with messages from her parents for her 18th and 21st birthdays, and a ring that her grandmother had given her.
Masterson was recognised by a police officer who grew up in the same village as he did, and his fingerprint was found on a soap box.
The court heard he has one previous conviction for handling stolen goods, in 2004, for which he was fined £200.
Ben Robinson, mitigating, said Masterson began using drugs recreationally when he was 16, but accrued debts and moved to Gloucester where he became homeless and began taking hard drugs.
He said he managed to stop and moved back to live with his grandmother last year, even finding work as a landscape gardener. But his old associates put pressure on him to pay off the debt, and told him about the key-stone at the Watnall address, and the “easy pickings” inside.
Mr Robinson said his client showed “genuine remorse” and was “disgusted with himself.”
Masterson, 35, of Moor Road, Bestwood Village, admitted burglary when he appeared in court on March 21.
Recorder Martin Butterworth sentenced him to eight months in prison on Wednesday.