A BURGLAR who stole jewellery from the home of a dying man and sold it to “pawnbrokers and crackheads” to buy drugs has been jailed for a year.
Brian Gadsden (45) — who had 36 previous convictions for 99 offences — stole from his then- partner’s father’s house on Ferrars Road, Tinsley, in January last year.
Ms Louise Gallagher, prosecuting, told Sheffield Crown Court last Friday (8) that the victim was being cared for in a hospice at the time and had died two days later.
Judge Graham Reeds QC, jailing Gadsen for a year, said: “It’s difficult to conceive a meaner kind of burglary than to target a man who is in a hospice dying of cancer.
“There is no doubt in my mind that you caused a significant degree of loss to the victim which was economic, sentimental and personal.”
Ms Gallagher said Gadsden’s then-partner had rung and asked him to ensure the keys to her father’s house, which she had left at home, were somewhere safe but Gadsen, of Hounsfield Road, East Herringthorpe, had instead used them to commit the burglary.
Gadsden’s haul — which he sold to pawnbrokers to buy drugs — included a signet ring bearing the victim’s initials, two gold chains, two bracelets and a watch.
After the theft was discovered, Gadsden’s partner suspected he might be the culprit because the door was locked and there were no signs of a break-in.
She went to a branch of Cash Converters to look for the stolen jewellery and staff confirmed to her that Gadsden had sold some of the items to them, Ms Gallagher said.
The woman later confronted Gadsden and he told her: “I’m sorry, I ****ed up. It was a moment of madness”, after which she told him to leave and ended the relationship.
She said in a statement which was read to the court that the actions of her ex-partner had “torn her world apart”, adding: “I will never be able to forgive him.”
When arrested, Gadsden admitted he had stolen the jewellery and sold it to “crackheads and pawnbrokers”.
The two bracelets, which were valued at £425 each, were the only items recovered.
Gadsden pleaded guilty to burglary and breaching a conditional discharge at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on December 13.
The court heard he had 36 previous convictions for 99 offences but had stayed out of trouble between November, 2007 and September, 2017.
Mr Dermot Hughes, mitigating, said: “There wasn’t any damage caused to get into the property.
“There wasn’t the sort of ransacking or untidy searching which you sometimes get.
“He made a huge mistake which he badly regretted.”
Gadsden was told that his time spent on remand would count towards his sentence and he would serve half of the prison term on licence.