Thief who stole expensive jewellery from Australian tourist is jailed

A burglar who stole expensive jewellery from an Australian woman holidaying in Belfast has been jailed for seven months.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 28th July 2020, 11:58 am
Belfast Magistrates' Court
Belfast Magistrates' Court

Ryan Anderson broke into an apartment where the victim was staying with her family, taking diamond rings, a gold chain and crucifix worth 25,000 Australian Dollars.

The 29-year-old also caused £3,500 worth of damage in a separate raid on Linfield FC Supporters’ Club premises.

Anderson, of Mervue Street in the city, admitted charges of burglary, converting criminal property and burglary with intent to steal.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard he targeted a flat on Cliftonpark Avenue in the early hours of July 27 last year.

An Australian family were staying at the Airbnb property during their visit to the city.

Anderson climbed over a back wall and gained entry through an unlocked window, stealing the haul of expensive jewellery and two iPads from the kitchen area.

Mark O’Connor, prosecuting, disclosed that a fingerprint was recovered from the window frame.

Later that day Anderson sold a diamond ring, gold chain and crucifix at a Cash Converters store in Belfast for a total of £122, the court heard.

He wanted to sell another diamond ring but was advised to get it valued because it was potentially worth so much.

Two months later, Anderson forced entry to the Linfield Supporters’ Club at Jumna Street in Belfast.

A window engraved with the Irish League side’s club crest was broken in the burglary on September 23.

With damage also caused to fire doors and an alarm system, Mr O’Connor said the cost of repairs was in excess of £3,500.

Defence counsel Aaron Thompson acknowledged Anderson was fortunate the cases had not been taken to the Crown Court.

He also stressed how his client’s guilty pleas had avoided a potentially costly trial process.

“The victim was on holiday from Australia,” Mr Thompson pointed out.

“It was of great assistance that the PPS (Public Prosecution Service) didn’t have to bring someone from Australia (because) he has pleaded to that.”

Imposing seven months imprisonment for the offences, District Judge George Conner said: “It’s inevitable that a custodial sentence will be passed.”