A man who stole and tried to sell a 9ct gold and ruby ring from a property he had been trusted with looking after, has been sentenced to nine months in prison.
Mark Kattenhorn, 38, took the ring to the jewelers with the intention of getting it melted down for cash in order to pay for drugs, but the vigilance of the jeweller meant the police were alerted and Kattenhorn was subsequently arrested and charged with theft.
In a previous court sitting at the magistrates court Judge McKerrell had accepted jurisdiction of the case as while most burglaries would go to the Royal Court, this case was slightly different as there was no break in and the element of trespass was within the property rather than onto the property in its entirety.
The prosecution outlined the facts saying they were slightly unusual for a domestic burglary as Kattenhorn had been entrusted with looking after his neighbours house in St Martins while they were away on a holiday. Kattenhorn was expected to keep an eye on the property and water the plants, however he had not been expected to access the entire house and go in all the rooms.
Kattenhorn pled guilty to theft, but was not charged with burglary as he did not technically break into and enter the property.
The court heard how on 30 May he had entered as a trespasser the bedroom of the occupiers and stolen a 9ct gold and ruby ring, which belonged to the female resident of the property.
Prosecution stated this was a ring of modest value but of great sentimental value to its owner and that the incident had caused great upset to the victims, especially given the breach of trust.
In his defence the court heard how Kattenhorn had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and that he felt he had no choice but to steal the ring as he feared for his families safety due to purchasing some cannabis and needing to pay for these drugs. Since the investigation Kattenhorn had lost his job.
In sentencing Judge McKerrell said he would give credit for the guilty plea, but that was all. He welcomed the vigilance of the jeweller whom he tried to sell the ring to and reprimanded Kattenhorn for claiming he was only going to pawn it and not sell it.
He addressed Kattenhorn: "You were in a position of trust to perform a certain task by your neighbours, not to snoop around and steal an item of property to fund your drug use. You chose to steal this and in some ways it is worse than breaking into a stranger's house because of the breach of trust."
He added that Guernsey was a place enviable for its lack of crime, and for many years people didn't lock their doors, so while he could not turn back the clock, he could impose a sentence as a message that these types of crimes will not be tolerated.
Kattenhorn was sentenced to nine months in prison with immediate effect and was sent straight to Les Nicolles.
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