Braunton woman stole brass plaques from dead man’s house, court told
A WOMAN who had her benefits stopped stole £22 worth of brass plaques from a dead man’s house, a court has heard.
Sharon Ann Couch, 41, of Knowle, Braunton, pleaded guilty to burglary and handling stolen goods at North Devon Magistrates’ Court.
The court heard Couch entered an unoccupied farmhouse near her mobile home and stole 15kg worth of brass plaques which used to adorn old steam engines.
The plaques belonged to the previous occupant of the house who died several years ago.
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The court heard Couch took the plaques, which were of great sentimental value to the man’s family, to a scrap metal dealer and sold them for £22.
She was arrested by police when the scrap metal dealer heard of the theft and reported her.
Couch also admitted handling stolen goods in the form of a set of golf clubs and a disc cutter tool which she claimed she found by the side of a road.
The court heard these items were taken from outbuildings near the farmhouse.
Couch also admitted being in breach of a conditional discharge imposed in May last year for a dwelling theft.
Tony Dart, for the defence, said Couch had had her benefits stopped and only took the metal because she was desperate for money.
The case was adjourned until March 1 for a probation report. Couch was released on unconditional bail.