08:00 Friday 04 January 2013

Lowest of the low

Written byHELEN KREFT

AN ‘extremely greedy’ teenager has been jailed after stealing more than £4,000 worth of items belonging to the late sister of his own foster mother.

Glenda Field, the foster mother of 18-year-old Nathan Middleton-Smith described herself as ‘broken’ after he stole jewellery and games worth £4,350 from her home over a three month period.

Middleton-Smith, formerly of Shakespeare Road, Horninglow, had been living with Ms Field since he was eight-years-old, but stole from her to pay for clothes.

The jobless defendant, who has no previous convictions, appeared at Burton Magistrates’ Court yesterday after admitting the theft charge and a pre sentence report was later prepared due to the high value and breach of trust.

The court heard that Ms Field had spent three months late last year in India sorting her recently deceased sister’s estate. When she returned in December, she discovered a large amount of games and jewellery – some of which belonged to her late sister – missing.

John Peel, prosecuting, said: “She confronted the defendant and he admitted stealing the items worth £4,350. However, the value to her is far more than that as some of the items belonged to her late sister.

“He sold them to jewellers and various shops, making a total of £1,000.”

His solicitor, Neil O’Driscoll, said Middleton-Smith has already been punished as now he is homeless.

He said: “He is 18 with no previous convictions. He is not a drug addict, or an alcoholic and has no issues. He has great respect for his foster mother, and a sympathy and fondness. However he committed an offence which caused her pain and hardship.

“If you devote your life to someone you expect them to behave better.

“He was unemployed at the time of this offence and wasn’t signing on so wasn’t getting what he was entitled to

“He had tried once to take jewellery. He went to a shop to sell it and it was very easy and his mother didn’t know about it, and he became extremely greedy.

“His situation is chaotic. He has punished his mother, but also himself as he now doesn’t have a roof over his head.”

Magistrates jailed Middleton-Smith for 12 weeks in a young offenders’ institution saying it was a very serious offence, a lot of money was involved and it was a breach of trust, where the mother has said she is ‘broken’ by his crime.

He will also pay £4,350 compensation when released.

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