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Judge jails burglar who stole engagement ring during “appalling” Whitehaven raid

Kymberley Bennewith

A DRUG addict who burgled the Whitehaven home of an 89-year-old man and stole his wife’s gold engagement ring has been jailed for more than three years.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how the pensioner was out when Kymberley Joanne Bennewith (also known as Simm) broke into his Woodstock Lane flat on the afternoon of November 3.

But he returned to find the property in which he lived alone had been invaded, and that a mobile phone and the sentimental ring, valued at £1,300, had been snatched.

Footprints were had been left on a toilet seat in a bathroom and on a drainpipe outside, and fingerprints were also found. These all gave a match to 31-year-old Bennewith, who was traced by police later that day in possession of the stolen phone. The ring was never recovered.

“I’ve sustained psychological injuries as I feel I am no longer safe in my own home,” the victim had said in an impact statement. “I have to make sure the doors and windows are all locked 24 hours a day. I feel like a prisoner in my own home.”

Bennewith, who made no comment during a police interview, admitted burglary earlier this week and was sentenced this morning (FRI). Brendan Burke, giving mitigation for a woman with 135 offences and 13 previous home burglaries to her name, told the court of “a paradigm example of a life destroyed by drug addiction”. He added: “Roughly a third of her life has been spent in prison.”

Judge Peter Davies imposed a 39-month jail term, and said of Bennewith’s latest offence: “That’s appalling, that he should have to come home in the evening of his life and find that you have rifled through his belongings.

“There is no contrition. There is no remorse. You don’t care. You’re not interested as long as you getting some money, free, for your own drug addiction.”