A heartless teen "robbed" his nan of four irreplaceable diamond rings worth £2,000, paid off a drugs debt, and blew the rest on booze and "weed," a court heard.
Tyler Deterville had been given a roof over his head by the victim, widow Pamela Nadin (63) at her home in Reedley. The four rings were of high sentimental value to Mrs Nadin, as they were gifts from her late husband.
Deterville told police that "he didn't want to rob from people, but ending up robbing his nan, which was worse," Burnley magistrates were told.
The jobless 19-year-old, who was given a suspended sentence for sex offences in September, could now be facing jail. He admitted theft on or about February 5th. The defendant, of Belgrave Street in Nelson, was committed to the crown court to be sentenced.
Prosecutor Mrs Tracy Yates told the court the rings were stolen from the victim's bedroom. Deterville was staying at his nan's house, was bailed to the address, and was on a curfew.
On February 5th, she knocked her jewellery box onto the floor, picked it up and noticed four rings were missing. The only people who knew where they were were her grandson and a friend of his who had visited the house and had asked questions about the jewellery.
Mrs Yates said when the defendant was later interviewed, he owned up and said: "Me and the other lad were in debt. That's why we did it."
Deterville told officers he smoked a lot of weed (cannabis), had run up a debt, and the dealer had begun to threaten him and said he knew where his nan lived. He claimed his friend suggested taking the rings. The defendant said they decided to sell them, got between £300 and £400 for three of the rings at one shop, paid off the debt, and then bought weed and alcohol.
The prosecutor told the hearing: "He said he was devastated about what he's done and knew she (his nan) wouldn't get the rings back. This is clearly a breach of trust. He was living at her address, the items stolen were of substantial value and were of sentimental value."
Mr Nick Cassidy, for Deterville, said: "The defendant accepts that quite clearly this is an appalling offence. Through me, he formerly apologises and is genuinely remorseful."
The solicitor said Deterville accepted responsibility for taking the rings. He continued: "My instructions are that two were taken to Cash Converters and were recovered by the police. It's accepted a further two rings weren't recovered.
"He would say the initial idea wasn't his," Mr Cassidy, who told the hearing the defendant had spent time in custody added. "Without his admission, it's highly unlikely he would have been charged.
"He is now drug-free. He has now been able to rid himself of the negative peer group."