A PLASTERER who stole jewellery from houses he was working in has been jailed for a year.

Jonathan Cox, 29, of Clarendon Road, Alderbury, stole more than £9,000 worth of jewellery to fund his heroin addiction and pay off drug debts.

He was sentenced at Salisbury Crown Court on Thursday after admitting two charges of burglary and asking one other count of burglary and one of theft to be taken into account.

The court heard Cox was subcontracted by Salisbury Glass as a plasterer on May 21 when he stole £445 of jewellery from Hilltop Way in Salisbury and took it into Allum & Sidaway to sell it. The jewellers were suspicious and called the police, who carried out a search of Cox's home and found other items taken from the same house. Most of the victim's jewellery was recovered.

He also burgled a house he worked at in Wickham Drive, Corfe Mullen, on April 23 and took jewellery valued at £8,766, most of which he sold at an antiques market in Salisbury.

Prosecuting, Eileen Sproson said the victim was very affected by the crime as a lot of the items had sentimental value, including a ring given to her mother as an anniversary present and pieces her husband had bought her that could not be replaced.

Defending Cox, David Chapman said he was conscious of the seriousness of his position and had expressed remorse. He said Cox had no outstanding drug debts and was taking methadone to try to get clean.

Sentencing, Recorder Michael Self said: "You cared not a jot for the people's property you stole and you didn’t care for your employers, who had given you work."