A drug addict who stole nearly £400,000 of jewellery has been ordered to pay back just – ONE POUND.
David Stephenson, 37, made a total of £384,000 from nine separate hauls across Britain – including the theft of a #100,000 diamond ring.
But he was foiled when CCTV footage shown on the BBC’s Crimewatch programme led to him being recognised.
Stephenson was jailed for five years last December after pleading guilty to nine counts of theft – but has now been ordered to pay back to #1 of his ill-gotten gains.
Making the repayment order at Lincoln Crown Court on Tuesday, Recorder Timothy Spencer said that the thief had no assets which could be seized so he was left with no choice but to issue the nominal fee.
The court heard how Stephenson was caught on CCTV snatching a Picchiotti white gold ring and a #100,000 diamond ring from a shop in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, in October 2011.
But it wasn’t until November last year that Stephenson was caught after staff in a jewellery store in Birmingham recognised his face and reported him to police.
The court was told Stephenson, from Doncaster, Yorks., had sold a car previously registered in his name and the vehicle he was driving when he was arrested belonged to another man.
Steve Taylor, prosecuting, said the thief was also responsible for thefts from shops in Blackpool, Nottingham, Beverley, East Yorks., Chichester, Sussex, and Bicester, Oxfordshire.
Julian Gaskin, defending, said Stephenson was determined to change his life after falling ill because of his drug abuse.
Mr Gaskin said: “He has a partner and two young children. He has recently felt he is going to die if he carries on misusing drugs.
“He is motivated to change his lifestyle and remain drug free.”