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Court hears odd job man tempted by cash

PUBLISHED: 02:37 29 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:56 03 March 2010

A PENSIONER'S wad of cash was stolen by an odd-job man who found it in her kitchen drawer.

The £200 belonging to the woman of Clarkson Street, Ipswich was taken by Michael Finch, 53, of Bishops Hill after he turned up to do a small job for her on September 26.

A PENSIONER'S wad of cash was stolen by an odd-job man who found it in her kitchen drawer.

The £200 belonging to the woman of Clarkson Street, Ipswich was taken by Michael Finch, 53, of Bishops Hill after he turned up to do a small job for her on September 26.

Prosecutor Gareth Davies said the woman, who lives alone, had withdrawn the cash in town, then placed it in an envelope in a kitchen drawer when she returned home.

He added: "The defendant – who'd done off jobs for the complainant before - arrived a bit later and asked if he could wash his hands because he'd been working on his bike. He was left alone for five minutes."

When the victim later discovered the cash was missing, she immediately suspected Finch because she'd had no other visitors.

Mr Davies added: "When the defendant returned some days later, she challenged him and he admitted he had stolen it. He said he would repay her when he was able to. It hasn't been repaid yet.

"It's a rather mean offence – hence the reason for the prosecution."

Defending, Naomi Turner said Finch had found the money when he opened a drawer to find a towel to dry his hands.

"He decided to take it and spent it. It was totally impulsive."

She said he admitted the crime and felt 'deeply ashamed and full of 'self reproach' about it.

She said he had been drinking that day, but did not claim that as an excuse for his actions.

Finch, who has a hearing problem, asthma, epilepsy and arthritis, was ordered to pay £200 compensation, and £55 costs.

He was given a 12-month conditional discharge.

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