HANDLING around £2,000 worth of stolen jewellery has landed a Banbury man with an eight-month prison sentence.

Sean Colee, of William Close, pleaded guilty to one count of handling stolen goods on August 12 last year following the break-in of an elderly couple’s home in Oxford.

The burglary was carried out by another offender, Adam Sherry, who was sentenced to 18 months in prison earlier this year.

Matthew Turner, prosecuting at Oxford Crown Court, said Colee and the burglar sold the jewellery, which contained pieces of “high and sentimental value”, to a man in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, for £1,000.

Judge Patrick Eccles heard the 24-year-old defendant had handled the stolen the goods which were taken from a retired woman with Alzheimer’s.

She could not now remember what had happened to her jewellery, which has never been recovered.

Claire Fraser, defending, told the judge her client felt “genuine remorse” for his crime.

She said: “He has said to me he feels very ashamed of what he has done.”

But Judge Eccles said he suspected the defendant was more sorry about his own situation than that of his victim.

He said: “The risk of being involved in crime is that the victims could be particularly vulnerable, as they are in this case. This was a dreadful loss for this retired couple.”

He sentenced Colee to eight months in prison and ordered him to pay a £100 victims’ surcharge.