Two men who stole £8,297 worth of rings from Doble's jewellers in Camborne only minutes after attempting to steal £30 from a 79-year-old man as he withdrew it from a cash machine have been jailed at Truro Crown Court.
Robert Ingham, aged 40, of Basset Street, Camborne, who in 2009 was jailed for four years for robbing a St Ives building society, received a total of 20 months and 21-year-old James Davis, of Rodwill Close, Leedstown, was imprisoned for 15 months.
Both had pleaded guilty to theft and attempted theft.
Prosecutor Elaine Hobson revealed that Arthur Rostron, a robust man who was pushing his 50-year-old invalid son in his wheelchair, was withdrawing cash early on a Saturday afternoon, February 26 last year, when Ingham stood between him and the machine.
“I am not going to hurt you but I am going to take your money,” said Ingham. Mr Rostron replied: “You are bloody not, you know” and left. Davis was standing by but played no part in intimidating him.
The incident was recorded on CCTV and caused a witness, Susan Deebank, to be concerned as both men had scarves around their faces on a not particularly cold day.
The defendants then went to the jewellers' shop in Commercial Square, where Ingham told the assistant he wanted a white gold engagement ring.
He was shown two trays, and when he asked to hold one tray he was refused.
Ingham told her: “Do you know what, I'll take the whole tray” and he took both. Mr Doble, who was in the back of the shop, grabbed Davis who struggled and left without his coat.
The police arrested the men days later and they recovered some of the rings from Ingham's home but £7,337 worth had been disposed of.
Questioned, Ingham said he had been drinking heavily that day and could not remember what he had done. Davis claimed he had not been involved.
Ms Hobson revealed that Ingham had nine previous convictions for 33 offences since 1992 and had committed these offences within a couple of months of his release from the four-year sentence. Davis had been dealt with in 2012 for a number of shoplifting matters.
Robin Smith, defending Ingram, said he could not have chosen a busier time to steal the rings, when the streets were crowded.
Sean Brunton, counsel for Davis, stressed that he had played 'second fiddle' to his co-defendant.