Theft victim's £2.5k hidden under his bed
A THIEF stole thousands of pounds from under an elderly man's bed to kit out his sheltered accommodation.
Damien Rhys Samuel, 37, of Coleshill Terrace, Llanelli, pleaded guilty to stealing £2,500 that had been hoarded under an 82-year-old's bed.
Llanelli magistrates felt they lacked the power to sufficiently punish Samuel — who has previous convictions for theft — and he must appear at Crown Court to receive a stricter sentence.
At the time of the offence Samuel was living in the same sheltered accommodation as his victim Kenneth Franks at Great Western Terrace, Llanelli.
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Prosecuting, Gerald Neave said police had been called to the address.
"When the police arrived, they spoke to a man, who was 82 years old, who said that he had kept £4,000 under his bed," Mr Neave said.
The court heard that the money had gone missing and that Mr Franks believed Samuel was responsible.
"Officers went to the bedroom of the defendant and immediately noticed that the room was full of expensive electrical goods," he said.
Samuel admitted to the theft, but claimed the amount was approximately £2,500, not the £4,000 alleged by Mr Franks. Mr Neave added: "He stated that the door was unlocked, and that he had stolen the money in September and October of 2012.
''He spent the money on the items and painkillers as he said that he is addicted. He used the rest of the money for gambling."
An extensive list of items bought by Samuel was read to the court, which included a PSP games console and 10 games, a Wii console, a River Island suit and shirt, and a 28ins TV/DVD combi.
Mr Neave added: "Mr Franks asserts that there was £4,000 in his room, but he had no way of proving this."
Mitigating, Peter Martin said Samuel had readily admitted what he had done. He said: "He explained that he had gone into the room to see the gentleman and gave in to the temptation and took the money."
Samuel was given conditional bail until his crown court sentencing on April 19.