A GAMBLING addiction nearly put a Redditch man behind bars this week.
Krystian Gierszewski pleaded guilty at Redditch Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (July 28) to stealing £2,000 worth of jewellery from his mother between March 15 and March 31 to feed his habit.
The unemployed 24-year-old of Pine Tree Close, Batchley, also admitted to one count of fraud for an incident on April 30 where he claimed to be the rightful owner of six gold rings when selling them to a shop for £102 in cash.
He also pleaded guilty to stealing £2,200 in 20 unauthorised cash withdrawls from his stepfather’s account, between November 26 last year and March 26, 2015.
Mr Owen Beale, prosecuting, said: “This is a case of breach of trust – theft from his mother and mother’s partner who he shared a house with at that time.”
Mr Beale added that the defendant’s mother, Alicja Gierszewski, had noticed a gold chain, six gold rings and a pair of earrings were missing from her wardrobe on March 30.
After searching for the missing jewellery in local shops, she found that her son had sold the rings to one of them.
The court heard the defendant had admitted to spending the money on gambling, takeout food, phone top-ups and cannabis.
Mr Hicks, defending, said Gierszewski fully accepted what he had done and did not commit the offence with the intention to cause harm but out of greed to feed his gambling addiction.
Annie Haywood, chairman of the bench, said more good would come from giving Gierszewski a suspended sentence than could ever be achieved in custody – although it had been a ‘borderline decision’.
Gierszewski was given two 12 week suspended sentences for two years for the two counts of theft and another eight week suspended sentence to run concurrently with the other two, for the fraud charge.
As he is unemployed he was also told to pay £2,100 in compensation, 50 per cent of the total, plus £180 in court charges and a £80 victim surcharge.
Gierszewski was also ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and 20 days of Rehabilitation Activity Requirements.