TWO men who sold stolen solid gold ornaments to a shop which melted them down have avoided jail.
Steven Newell and Jed Haynes both received suspended prison sentences yesterday for handling around £5,000 worth of stolen property.
Jonathan Stone, prosecuting, said the pair had been in possession of several 24-carat Chinese gold “ingots” taken in a burglary during March this year.
He said the break-in happened at a house in Rewley Road, Oxford, and the family returned to find their belongings gone on April 11.
The barrister said Newell, 22, and Haynes, 21, were spotted on CCTV in Templars Shopping Centre in Cowley taking the items to a Cash Generator store.
Mr Stone told Judge Mary Jane Mowat there was not enough evidence to charge anyone with the burglary itself, but the stolen ornaments had sentimental value to their owners.
He added Newell, of Snowshill Drive, Witney, had six convictions for eight offences, while Haynes, of Judd’s Close, Witney, had three convictions for seven offences.
Judge Mowat heard mitigation from the defence barristers for both men that their clients both had young children and had started to turn their lives around. Passing sentence she told them they had taken “high value items of great sentimental value and some antiquity” which their owners would now never get back.
Judge Mowat sentenced both men to nine months in prison, suspended for 12 months, with 200 hours of unpaid work.
They will also each have to pay £100 costs and a £100 victims’ surcharge.
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