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Stallholder denies he stole £5k worth of jewellery

By John Cassidy

Published 16/09/2016

A man has gone on trial accused of stealing £5,000 worth of jewellery belonging to an elderly woman.

Daniel Brown (25), from Willowfield Gardens in east Belfast, denies a single charge of stealing seven rings, a pair of gold earrings and a gold watch belonging to Eileen Charnock.

Prosecution lawyer Mark Farrell told the jury at Belfast Crown Court that 70-year-old Mrs Charnock met Brown at a car boot sale at St Donard’s Parish Church in Bloomfield, east Belfast on May 30, 2015, where he ran a stall selling second hand clothing.

She told him she had a large quantity of second hand clothes and he agreed to buy them from her. After exchanging telephone numbers, Brown agreed to call with her at her bungalow home in east Belfast, arriving three days later on June 2 and entering the bungalow.

Mr Farrell said that Mrs Charnock went to her bedroom where she noticed Brown “leaning over in an area where there was no clothes” to be collected.

After Brown left her home with the clothing, she noticed a small box in which she kept her jewellery “was not where it should be”.

Trial Judge Geoffrey Millar QC heard that Mrs Charnock later “found her jewellery box under her bed but the jewellery was missing”.

Asked by defence barrister Denis Boyd why she didn’t ask Brown to leave her bedroom, Mrs Charnock replied: “I trusted him.”

Asked why it took her three days to report the theft to police, she said: “I did feel foolish about it. I just felt ashamed.”

A detective constable confirmed to the court under cross examination that no fingerprints or DNA belonging to Brown were found on the jewellery box.

Mr Boyd asked Brown: “Did you at any stage take any of the jewellery she says went missing?”

Brown replied: “None of it. No.”

Defence barrister Denis Boyd told the jury: “There is not a scrap of forensic evidence to support the prosecution case against the defendant.”

Judge Millar QC will address the jury this morning before the jury retire to deliberate on its verdict. At hearing.

Belfast Telegraph

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