Leeds cleaner stole £4,500 of wedding rings then sold them to jeweller for £120

A cleaner stole wedding and engagement rings worth £4,500 from a client before selling them to a jeweller for £120.

Emily Hall, 42, was arrested after the victim complained to the company she worked for and the owner turned detective to uncover the offence.

Leeds Crown Court heard Hall worked for a company which provides domestic cleaners to homes in Leeds.

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Alisha Kaye, prosecuting, said the victim left her home on August 3 last year and realised she had forgotten to put her wedding and engagement rings on.

She had removed them as her fingers had become swollen due to pregnancy.

She was unable to find the rings when she returned home and contacted the cleaning company.

The owner of the firm spoke to staff and asked them to check if they were inside vacuum cleaners.

She then checked a rota and sent a text message to Hall after it became clear she had been working at the victim's home.

The prosecutor said the business owner was not satisfied with Hall's response to the text message.

She then remembered that she had dropped Hall off in Horsforth on the morning of the alleged theft.

The woman went into a jeweller's shop near to where Hall had got out of the car.

Staff confirmed Hall had been into the shop and sold two rings.

The court heard the gold from the rings had been melted down but the engagement ring diamond was recovered and returned to the victim.

Hall, of Broadgate Drive, Horsforth pleaded guilty to theft.

A probation officer told the court that the mother of three had worked for the cleaning company since January last year.

She had lost her previous job after suffering from anxiety and depression and committed the offence at a time when she was under financial pressure.

Hall told the officer that she had been given £120 for the rings.

She appeared in court without legal representation.

Hall told Recorder David Osborne that she was "sorry" and "mortified" at what she had done.

Hall was given an eight month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and made the subject of a curfew for two months.

Recorder Osborne praised the actions of Hall's employers for helping to detect the offence.

He said: "Through quite a lot of hard work, they managed to track down that you had sold these two rings to a local jewellers.

"They were worth over £4,500. More than that, they were of sentimental value. It is a shameful matter for which you find yourself here."