An Easton man was caught on CCTV stealing his former neighbour’s sunglasses from a suitcase forgotten in a foyer.
Colin Everett, 34, found the case in the Baptist Mills Court block of flats where he lives, then took one pair of Ray-Ban and two pairs of Michael Kors sunglasses.
He appeared at Bristol Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (August 17) and admitted theft from Stephanie Parsons, as well as possession of 9.9g of cannabis.
Prosecutor Sandra Massiah said a removals worker was loading Ms Parsons’ items into a vehicle at around 1.15pm on March 13. She was moving from Baptist Mills Court to a new home.
Ms Massiah added: “As [the worker] was doing so, he placed the bags in a communal foyer, and later discovered a case containing jewellery and designer sunglasses was missing.
“On his return to Bristol, he found the case in the foyer but saw it had been moved into a recess under the staircase, and some of the jewellery was missing, as well as sunglasses.
“CCTV was checked and showed the defendant had moved upstairs, then re-emerged 10 minutes later and placed it back where [the worker] had found it.”
Police attended Everett’s flat two months later, on May 13, to arrest the defendant, who was “compliant throughout”, the prosecutor added.
He showed the officers the sunglasses and then walked into the living room, where he presented them with a bag of “green vegetable matter”, the court heard.
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Everett told the officers: “There’s this here as well. I’m just going to admit it. It’s weed. It’s for personal use.”
Speaking about the theft, he added: “Obviously I’ve done something stupid. I literally took three things out. That’s it.”
Everett has previous convictions for theft and drug possession, but had not been in court since 2014, when he had failed to comply with a community order.
His lawyer, the duty solicitor Guy Percival, said: “The case was left in a communal area, he saw it and initially thought it had just been abandoned. It’s an area where things are left.
“Mr Everett took the case upstairs, took the items out and didn’t put them back in. He should have done. He then put the case back down near its original place. He accepts it was dishonest.
“He has been in a fair bit of trouble but his last actual conviction, if you don’t include failing to comply with a community order, was 2013. So he’s been out of trouble for almost eight years.”
Turning to the defendant, Mr Percival added: “He works for a company — he’s a logistics manager I think?”
Everett corrected his lawyer: “A facilities manager.”
The defendant, who lives on his own, takes home £500 per week, Mr Percival told the court.
“He does use cannabis but tells me since this incident he has not used cannabis at all,” he continued.
“He’s very disappointed he is back before the court. He made very good progress when you look at the offending he was involved in. I think he’d want to apologise for his behaviour, through me.”
Handing down the sentence, Presiding Justice Susan Helfer said: “Mr Everett, you knew what you were doing was wrong. We obviously appreciate that the sunglasses were returned to the owner without damage, and your cooperation with police.”
She imposed a £333 fine for the theft, another £333 fine for the cannabis possession, prosecution costs of £85 and a victim services surcharge of £34.