Heroin user stole the en­gage­ment ring of 81-year-old widow

Char­lene Va­lente jailed for six months af­ter pawn­ing ring, which has not been re­cov­ered

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - NEWS - GARY FITZ­PATRICK

A drug ad­dict stole an 81-year-old widow’s en­gage­ment ring to feed her habit.

Heroin user Char­lene Va­lente took the ring from the woman and then sold it to a pawn shop.

The el­derly vic­tim had wel­comed Va­lente, 40, into her home for a cup of tea, unaware of the real pur­pose of the visit.

The ring was never re­cov­ered and Va­lente came up with a story about hav­ing stolen it ac­ci­den­tally.

Va­lente, of Hay­field Road, Kirk­caldy, ap­peared from cus­tody at Dun­fermline Sher­iff Court.

She ad­mit­ted that on Septem­ber 23 last year, at an ad­dress in Car­den­den, she stole a gold ring.

De­pute-fis­cal Dev Ka­pa­dia told the court that the vic­tim was an 81-year-old widow.

“She was at home do­ing her house work when the ac­cused paid her a visit. The com­plainer was aware that the ac­cused was a drug user,” he said.

The pen­sioner wel­comed Va­lente into her home for a cup of tea and also in­vited in her boyfriend who had been wait­ing out­side in a car.

“At one point the ac­cused had gone up­stairs to use the toi­let and shortly af­ter­wards she and her boyfriend left,” added Mr Ka­pa­dia.

Later, the vic­tim be­gan to be­come sus­pi­cious about Va­lente hav­ing gone up­stairs and when she checked in her bed­room she found her gold en­gage­ment ring was miss­ing.

When in­ter­viewed by the po­lice, Va­lente claimed she gone up­stairs to the toi­let but went into the bed­room and tried on the ring.

“She said she had for­got it was still on her fin­ger when she walked off into the toi­let.

“She said it was now in a shop in Kirk­caldy High Street” the de­pute-fis­cal con­tin­ued, adding it never been re­cov­ered.

So­lic­i­tor Martin McGuire said: “It will come as no sur­prise that she has an is­sue with drug de­pen­dency.”

Sher­iff Charles MacNair said Va­lente had been given hos­pi­tal­ity and abused it by steal­ing the en­gage­ment ring.

“You then pawned that ring and it has never been re­cov­ered.

“The ring would have held sig­nif­i­cant mem­o­ries for her and you have ru­ined that for your own selfish needs,” he said.

He jailed Va­lente for six months.

The ring would have held sig­nif­i­cant mem­o­ries for her and you have ru­ined that for your own selfish needs. SHER­IFF CHARLES MACNAIR

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